On Edge: Anticipating The Japanese House – Good At Falling

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The Japanese House, aka Amber Bain, has been on the rise lately after making her comeback in September 2018 with the single ‘Lilo’. This track, a contradictory yet beautiful mix of raw emotion and chill vibes, put The Japanese House on a lot of people’s radars; her next release, ‘Follow My Girl’, solidified her status as ‘one to watch’. Now, we anxiously await the release of her first full-length album Good At Falling.

The title itself gives us a hint of what to expect. Listening to Bain’s music can sometimes feel like slowly falling through an Alice-In-Wonderland-esque rabbit hole of emotion. She tends to produce songs that have a hypnotising effect, as seen in her four previously released EPs: Pools to Bathe in, CleanSwim Against the Tide, and Saw You in a Dream. Her debut album, however, promises to be an even more assured and intimate project. Bain has already said that “these songs are definitely more direct…the album has a lot more of me in it”. By “more of me” Bain seems not only to be referring to the personal experiences drawn on in her songwriting but also her personality. The artist champions self-expression, claiming that “it’s definitely going to be a strange album. There’s a lot of weird shit on it. There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on.”

Self-expression is at the heart of The Japanese Houses projects. Bain’s choice of moniker calls back to her experience of staying at a property called The Japanese House in Cornwall. Whilst staying at the house Bain dressed up as a boy and called herself Danny. This experimentation with identity seems to have inspired her choice to produce music under a new name. Her music expresses this search for and ultimately challenge of a fixed identity: ‘Follow My Girl’, for example, starts with the line “Different people have their different ways of living,” and conveys the artist’s search for a ‘sense of direction’.

Bain has used prismizer on almost every track that she has released so far. It seems fitting, then, that part of her recording process for Good At Falling took place in a cabin belonging to Bon Iver (the first artist to prove the capabilities of this audio effect). Primizer and use of the messina seems to be very popular with artists at the moment, especially those represented by Dirty Hit records. What we get as a result is an outpouring of tracks with choral-like vocals drenched in emotion complicated by the use of auto-tone. From what we’ve seen in ‘Lilo’ and ‘Follow My Girl’ it looks like we can expect sentimentalism to be a large part of Bain’s album: a personal and tender debut that is sure to be a hit.

Good At Falling will be available via Dirty Hit records from 1 March 2019.

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