Posts Tagged ‘The Japanese House’

When Amber Bain (better known by her moniker The Japanese House) started working on her debut album, 2019’s ‘Good At Falling’, she was in need of a co-producer. George Daniel – a long-time collaborator and drummer of The 1975 – with whom she’d worked with on most of her previous releases was tied up working on his band’s 2018 blockbuster ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, so she needed somebody to fill his shoes.

Bain started looking into the production credits of her favourite albums to see who worked behind the scenes on them. One of these was Bon Iver‘s third album ’22, A Million’, which lead to her reaching out to BJ Burton, the production wonder who’s worked extensively with Justin Vernon, and resulted in Bain heading to Wisconsin to work on music at April Base, Vernon’s secluded recording studios.

This experience is brought full circle on Bain’s latest EP, ‘Chewing Cotton Wool’, which includes the Justin Vernon-featuring ‘Dionne’. Once again produced by Burton, it’s an amalgamation of gorgeous shimmering electronics and hazy layered vocals, fusing The Japanese House’s dreamy melodies with the glitchy production that permeated ’22, A Million’.

There’s a new sense of sureness in ‘Dionne’, too, something that’s echoed throughout the rest of ‘Chewing Cotton Wool’. Previous single, ‘Something Has To Change’, with its sing-a-long chorus and hand-clapped beats, is a pop smash cloaked in swirling synths. The minimalist title track sees Bain examine the memory of a lost loved one (“She’s the sound of your own voice / She’s someone else’s drink”) as electronic sounds trickle in the background. ‘Sharing Beds’, built around subtle piano lines and vocoded vocals, evokes The 1975’s glitchier moments.

‘Good At Falling’ was filled with gut-punch moments (on ‘We Talk all the Time’ Bain honestly states: “We don’t fuck anymore / But we talk all the time so it’s fine”), and her lyricism shines again here. Take ‘Dionne’’s incisive assessment of a relationship: “I’ve been thinking about / My storyline / And how your past becomes your present if it’s always on your mind”.

‘Chewing Cotton Wool’ is an elevation of Bain’s sound. It’s a short collection, but one brings the last few years of music of The Japanese House full circle, while pushing to the future with its lush sounds and huge, radio-ready hooks. Short but sweet, it’s another indication of the avant-pop maven Bain’s poised to become.

The Japanese HouseSomething Has To Change  2019 Dirty Hit

Image may contain: 1 person, guitar

Amber Bain’s music is all soft hues and bruises, the kind of stuff that teenagers die for and that adults who still relate to teenage emotions chase like dreams. Of course this shimmering, achingly gorgeous debut album was co-produced by the 1975’s co-musical mastermind George Daniel — after hearing it, how could it not? I can’t wait to hear what she’s going to do next.

If it feels like Amber Bain’s nom de plume has been everyone’s lips for the last few years, it’s probably because it has been. Tipped as far back as 2015, the Buckinghamshire-born singer-songwriter has received vocal support from Dirty Hit label mates The 1975, and even made the BBC’s Sound of 2017 longlist. But after four exquisitely-layered EPs of dreamy alt-pop, 2018 is poised to be Bain’s breakthrough year. Having spent the tail-end of 2017 in the wilds of Wisconsin, recording her debut album at Bon Iver’s studio, she’s hoping to unveil the results this coming summer.

The Japanese House – Maybe You’re the Reason from the album “Good at Falling” – Available Now

The Japanese House returns with ‘Something Has To Change’

Her first new music since the ‘Good At Falling’ album, The Japanese House has announced details of her new EP ‘Something Has To Change’, as well as sharing the title track and confirming details of a UK tour at the end of the year. A delightful synthy slapper, the new song is also accompanied by a brand new vid featuring a cameo from Amber’s cute AF dog too. What more could you want from a pop vid, eh?

The new track is the first to emerge from the singer, real name Amber Bain, since the release of her acclaimed album ‘Good At Falling’ earlier this year. It’s also accompanied by a music video directed by photographer Nadira Amrani, which sees her band making their first full performance in one of Bain’s videos. The full EP will arrive in November,

The Japanese House is Buckinghamshire’s Amber Bain. She makes dazzling experimental pop that sounds like “a sad little puppy listening to Beyoncé to cheer itself up” (her words.) The quietly euphoric “Face Like Thunder” adds to Bain’s growing collection of beautifully layered mini-masterpieces.

Terrific song from a very, very talented artist. Amber Bain (The Japanese House) a very hard working artist and it shows in her work, big things have arrived and bigger things to come in the future from this very talented musician. Face Like Thunder has a very catchy indie funk chill cinematic feel-good vibe to it. I have caught her twice now live and I look forward to going to a live show next time I get the chance!

Crafting a mix of lush dream pop and brooding electronica, the Buckinghamshire native worked under a handful of different monikers before using the Japanese House name in 2015. The name was inspired by a childhood trip to Devon, Owned by actress Kate Winslet, the cottage was called the Japanese House and Bain’s memories of her experiences there influenced the intentionally androgynous presentation of her musical work. After signing with U.K. indie Dirty Hit Records, she released a pair of EPs in 2015, beginning with Pools to Bathe In followed a few months later by Clean. The new single, “Face Like Thunder,” arrived in 2016

The Japanese House performs Swim Against The Tide for BBC Introducing in Beds, Herts & Bucks on BBC Three Counties Radio. Filmed at Bucks New University.

If you have been living under a musical rock in 2015, and don’t know much about THE JAPANESE HOUSE, you are about to give your ears a real treat. The finer points: She isn’t Japanese, and she doesn’t make music about houses. The big picture: The Japanese House is the extremely talented 20 year old Londoner, Amber Bain, who has made 2015 her bitch.

Releasing her debut single, ‘Teeth’ in April, The Japanese House has since then released two EP’s along with a string of intricate and artsy videos. It wasn’t until the first EP, Pools To Bathe In, was released that the curtain of mystery surrounding this young triple threat, began to lift. ‘Clean’, the title track from The Japanese House’s second EP

Much of The Japanese House’s music revolves around the interlacing theme of water. While the lyrics may touch on many other themes, they always come back to ideas like ‘Cool Blue’, ‘Still’, and ‘Clean’. Each track offers something new, although the promise is always a layered piece of music that keeps you paying attention til’ the very last beat. The tracks have layered vocals reminiscent of Imogen Heap, and somehow give you feelings of both bittersweet sadness and wistful smiles.

t is exactly this that makes The Japanese House an artist to watch. With two EP’s in a matter of months, and many live shows planned for 2016, keeping track of the directions her videos and sounds will take is going to be one of the better journeys your ears will take in the new year.

This time last year no-one had heard of The Japanese House. Yet by the time the calendar page ticked over to 2016, Amber Bain was one of the most talked about new artists around. In just a few short months she debuted with a Zane Lowe premiere, a place on the Dirty Hit roster and The 1975 on production duties, and left with two highly acclaimed EPs, Pools to Bathe In and Clean, under her belt.

Her music is magical and multi layered with melodies and her beguiling androgynous vocal enchanting and entrancing. She was second on the Blog Sound of 2016 poll as well as on the Tipping Point’s Tips of the Year and if weren’t for the likelihood of an album being released next year, we’d expect her to be on the BBC Sound of 2017 poll.


The Japanese House

‘Teeth’, by 19 y/o Londoner Amber Bain,aka THE JAPANESE HOUSE, is an insular, melancholic sound with equal shades of beauty and malaise. The kind of stuff The Postal Service broke boundaries with over a decade ago, albeit more downtempo. It’s a light, charming and intelligently produced song, which impresses on first listen and gets better on repeat.

The Japanese House’s airy, uplifting production is tight throughout, with a slow, syncopated beat which is effective here but seems to be everywhere at the moment. Guitar hooks, synth warbles and drum machinations are thrown at you like children’s toys. Her warm androgynous vocals blanket you from the bleak production and draw you further into her mind. Avoiding the potential for dull melodrama, the song instead becomes heartfelt and affirming.


The Japanese House has produced ‘Teeth’, along with the rest of her EP, Pools To Bathe In, with the help of two of her Dirty Hit label-mates from The 1975 George Daniel and Matthew Healy. Their influence can be heard across the EP, in the guitars, synths and vocal layering, and despite my feelings for their main band this perhaps adds something which might have been missing.

‘Teeth’ is at once small and expansive, internal and all-encompassing. It’s a simple pleasure of a song which calms and excites in equal measure.


2015 has been the year of THE JAPANESE HOUSE. The 20-year-old Londoner has released a string of hits, beautiful videos and to top it off, her second EP Clean, came out November 6th. Her  video ‘Sugar Pill’ is just like the sugary cherry on top of the cake.

The Japanese House (aka Amber Bain) may only be 20 years old, but her videos have this melancholy, and yet beautiful, home video feel. Her voice is deep and hypnotic, and her production skills are intricate and layered.

The video for ‘Sugar Pill’ is filled with the lights and visions of a carnival. You also get a glimpse of The Japanese House as she moves and dances to the beat in a transparent layer. Layers are a prominent theme for this video as lights from the carnival progress into countryside, with flashes of the carnival still lingering over a sunset.

The track itself has some haunting piano chords and layered vocals. The sound is obscure. ‘Sugar Pill’ progresses through different sounds as though you are on a journey, not unlike how you may fill if you have taken a sugar pill, perhaps thinking it were something else.

The final few moments of the clip and song are a new journey yet again in both sound and visuals, as though the sugar pill is wearing off.

Clean EP is due out November 6, though Dirty Hit Records.

The Japanese House logo and cover art

Brooding with melancholic beauty, ‘Still’ serves as a perfect introduction to 19-year-old London based artist The Japanese House and her debut EP, ‘Pools To Bathe In’. Produced by The Japanese House (Amber Bain) with George Daniel & Matthew Healy, ‘Pools To Bathe In’ pushes the parameters of alt pop, pulling together a host of unlikely influences to create something personal and entirely unique.




a co-sign from the 1975 certainly helped amplify exposure, but Amber Bain would have snuck into the internet’s collective awareness regardless.  her work as the Japanese House thus far is affecting, a haunting palette of minimalist textures wrapped around bain’s penchant for stacking brooding vocals.  although her second ep of 2015, Clean, already showcased bain expanding her horizons, Pools to Bathe in feels like definitive Japanese House, from the warped acoustic guitar foundation of the ep’s title track to the chilling narrative of an alter-ego on “sister.”  in an era when pristine, layered production is as coveted as ever, the Japanese House serves as an acute example of how to subvert that practice’s outcome and obtain