It's a big one this week, folks.
MF Doom - "Hoe Cakes"
When it comes to writing music about food, MF DOOM does it better than just about anyone else. This track is one of many classics from his food themed album MM... FOOD and Hoe Cakes finds Doom in his element with a catchy sample based beat, disorienting flow, and mind-blowing word play. With references ranging from Black Wookies, to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this is a quintessential breakfast song.
- Nathan Silvern
Dolly Parton - “Early Morning Breeze”
A lesser-known but infinitely deserving song from Parton’s 1974 Jolene, “Early Morning Breeze” is peak Dolly: easy, melodic, and charming. For me, country works best when it’s simple, and her vocals on this track hover over the twangy guitar like a cloud. This is a great song to wake up to on mornings when all you want is to slip back into your dream world. I picture Dolly humming this to herself while she cooks me cheesy grits in her Tennessee country home.
- JR Atkinson
J. Cole - "Foldin' Clothes"
I chose this song because it will forever remind me of almond milk.
- Natalia Vasquez
Jome - "Cinnamon"
“Cinnamon” is the perfect song to listen to after breakfast on the walk to class. Its chill, dreamy vibe encapsulated through the soft vocals, and pleasing guitar and piano is infectious after just a few seconds of listening. It’s not too loud, or too quiet, but the best song that lazily embraces anything the day is about to give you. A lot of our days, especially in college, are so fast paced that we don’t really get to enjoy what’s happening until it’s over. “Cinnamon” is as much a song about new beginnings (summer love) as it is about fully embracing a moment — something I think we should do more, starting in the mornings.
Japanese Breakfast - "Everybody Wants to Love You"
Philadelphia-based Michelle Zauner's solo project, Japanese Breakfast (or J-Brekkie, per Instagram), is distinguished by ringing guitars and saccharine vocals — both of which are showcased in "Everybody Wants To Love You." The song is a standout hit from Zauner's first album, Psychopomp, and tells a story of love and getting head in the morning. Delicious.
- Amy Geiger
Rainer Maria - "Breakfast Of Champions"
This track comes from Rainer Maria’s sophomore album, Look Now Look Again, which stands as one of the great forgotten records to emerge from the Midwest Emo scene in the '90s. Unlike fellow acts such as Sunny Day and The Promise Ring, Rainer Maria uses a blend of amateurish male and female lead vocals to lend their music an added feeling of melancholy and angst. Nowhere is that effect achieved better than on “Breakfast of Champions,” a track that finds the duo of vocalists singing their respective hearts out over an instrumental that seesaws between brooding and euphoric. The subject matter, evidently, is a fantasy of a simple breakfast shared by two partners. The ephemeral nature of this dream-like encounter is best exemplified by the song’s repeated lyric: “It was warm and pleasant, and over in an instant,” which is the way I feel after eating a good bowl of oatmeal! Ha!
A Tribe Called Quest - "Ham 'N' Eggs"
Maybe this song has a deeper purpose than exploring the dietary habits of the members of the legendary group, but maybe, just maybe, it doesn't. A whimsical call and response about fatty breakfast foods and other indulgent treats, this song always makes me sing alone. It's a light song on a perfect album.
Karla Devito - “We Are Not Alone”
“We Are Not Alone” by Karla Devito was featured in the Breakfast Club. The Breakfast Club always makes me nostalgic—I reminisce on the days I spent watching 80s movies with my mom (and later, my friends in high school, who insisted we went as the Breakfast Club gang for our senior year). Now, Ally Sheedy’s dance breakdown at the end of the scene is some of the most relatable content.
Walter Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra - "Let's Get Breakfast"
Breakfast (noun): the first meal of the day, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work; the literal breaking of the fast of the night prior; the ideal meal for catching up with friends (not as low-commitment as getting coffee, not as high-commitment as getting dinner)
Twin Peaks - "Making Breakfast"
“Watching the garden grow / such a beautiful day / it’s raining through the window but I like it that way,” sings singer Clay Frankel. Although “Making Breakfast” – one of my favorite tracks by the Chicago garage rock band Twin Peaks – isn’t actually about making breakfast, something about its feel-good hook and cozy lyrics perfectly captures the essence of the first meal of the day.
Of Montreal - "Pancakes for One"
"Pancakes for one are always depressing, because having breakfast with you was such fun." I imagine this song playing over a sped-up video of someone trudging through their day with a rain cloud over their head. Slightly mopey and resigned, but also packed with sweet harmonies, this song is for missing simpler times on mornings when you just want to get back into bed but have to run to class.
Kurt Vile & Courtney barnett - "Continental Breakfast"
"Continental Breakfast," the newest single (conveniently released this week) from Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile's upcoming album, is a pleasant ode to intercontinental friendships (it's not about breakfast, sorry - just classic Courtney Barnett wordplay) between friends in, say, Melbourne and Philadelphia. Kurt and Courtney are a match made in heaven and based on the singles, their album should be one of the most fun listens of the year. And the video is a must-watch - you get a nice, innocent, savory taste of the two cuties in their natural habitats (nothing beats Kurt Vile's pedal collection hanging on his living room walls).
Michael Seyer - "Breakfast in Bed"
Michael Seyer's "Breakfast in Bed" is what you listen to out of a slowly-dying tape player in a spaceship, remembering what morning is like down there on terra firma. This song is weird, slow and strung-out, with lilting vocals and slight harmonies that make you feel sad in that distinctly early-Sunday morning way.
J Balvin - "6 AM"
"6AM" by J Balvin tells a story best exemplified by the adage, "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." J Balvin awakes bright and early at 6:00 am to survey his extensive property, including a woman whose name he does not remember, and a car that has driven into his living room. He presumably eats breakfast during this confusing morning.