Wilco singer Jeff Tweedy has shared an acoustic cover of Japanese Breakfast’s track “Kokomo, IN” on his Instagram Live performance series The Tweedy Show. The track comes from Japanese Breakfast’s latest album Jubilee.
Tweedy’s cover is soft and gentle, and the guitar seems to caress his smooth, deep voice. There’s an aura of warmth from the way Tweedy plays the guitar. It’s very laid back and slow, inducing a feeling of relaxation in the listener. Topped off with his raw, untouched vocals, the cover sounds vulnerable and longing.
On the other hand, the original song by Japanese Breakfast sounds far more ethereal. With airy, bending guitar lines, large, reverb-soaked vocals and an orchestral piece with meandering violins, Japanese Breakfast create a cinematic experience with “Kokomo, IN.” Tweedy’s cover of the song comes off as more intimate and fragile, while the original song seems to feel more grand. “Kokomo, IN” is a sweet, sincere love song about a boy in Kokomo, Indiana. Tweedy’s acoustic cover of the song captures that essence.
Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast saw the cover as well. According to Stereogum, she wrote on Instagram, “Words can’t begin to express how mind blowing it is to discover this vid of Jeff Tweedy covering Kokomo, IN. Wilco has been such a huge influence on my music for so many years. The arrangement of Jesus, etc was the elegant perfection we strived for when we were recording Kokomo. The narrative arc of Posing For Cars and my need to solo for three mins was directly inspired by At Least That’s What You Said. I freaking walked off the aisle to She’s A Jar. I just can’t even handle it and had to share. Fuck.”
Wilco is set to have a busy 2021 touring. They are co-headlining a U.S. tour with Sleater-Kinney in August before carrying on a solo Ode to Joy tour in October. The Ode to Joy tour will only cover the west coast, but the tour with Sleater-Kinney includes performances across the nation. The band recently reunited for the first time in nearly a year on The Tweedy Show, where they performed a number of songs, including a cover of Gene Clark’s “Tried So Hard.”
Photo credit: Alyssa Fried