Japanese Breakfast will be playing tonight at 9 p.m. on SiriusXMU, and their performance will feature a rendition of Sufjan Stevens’ Michigan track “Romulus.” This rendition is a more tender approach, with vocals and piano from Gabby’s World and violin played by Molly Germer that was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
Japanese Breakfast will be continuing their tour on August 28th at Railbird Music Festival.
Stevens originally made “Romulus” to embody the suburban area outside his hometown of Detroit. However, the original meaning comes from the myth of the founder of Rome, Romulus and Remus, his brother being abandoned by their mother. The song signifies how Stevens understands and sympathizes with his parents about the struggles they had while raising him.
Sufjan Stevens shares how he felt when he wrote “Romulus”: “Our parents do the best they can, under the circumstances. They do what they can, and it is always the very best. Who’s to say if you were not loved or touched. There was too much to do, there were too many children, too many meals to prepare, too many sheets to fold, too many socks to match, too many floors to sweep. Oh the terrible burden, each of us doing the very best we could. Try to imagine yourself in their shoes. Living their lives, mowing their lawns, hanging their laundry, cleaning their clothes, arguing their arguments. You would do far worse. You would fail completely.”
Photo credit: Kalyn Oyer