It’s been near enough four years since Amber Bain emerged into our lives as The Japanese House and the release of her stunning debut EP Pools To Bathe In. Now four EP’s and ten singles into her career, the release of her highly anticipated full length album is right around the corner.
Set to win the hearts of her many adoring fans, and no doubt countless others; Good At Falling is set for release on 1st March via Dirty Hit. Ahead of it’s release, we talked to Amber to learn some more about both herself and the album.
How are you? What have you been up to since you announced your debut album?
I’m good thank you, I’m alright yeah. I’ve just been on a nice long walk. I’m in the studio at the moment doing more things. I don’t actually know what I’m working on but I’m working on lots of music. I don’t know what it’s going to be yet. That’s all really, I’ve just come off tour and then came here, I’ve just been doing music and literally nothing else.
There’s been demand for an album ever since you release Pools To Bathe In, right? Did you always know you wanted to take your time with it or has it been difficult waiting for the right time to come?
I don’t know, it wasn’t really a planned thing to be like, “oh I’m gonna take my time with this and release it when it’s done”, now it’s done it’s a relief. It was quite hard ‘cause I’ve been releasing EPs as well, so I’ve release quite a lot of material which has taken up quite a lot of fuel writing wise.
How has it been working with Dirty Hit on these releases? Has it given you the freedom you’ve wanted to do things your way?
Yeah, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be on a normal label. It’s such a lovely family, and that sounds really cliché but, yeah. Most of the newer artists I don’t really know but the core group of musicians that were there when I started, I love them all and I love everyone that works on the label. Matty and George and all of those boys, it’s just lovely to have them around. As for the actual label, they just know what gets the best music out of people is allowing them to do whatever the fuck they want, to a degree; obviously you need guidance and structure and help, but it’s never put in a way like “you have to do this, or else” you can do whatever you want, and it’s nice.
Your earlier releases have a kind of mysteriousness to them, but these new tracks, ‘Lilo’ and ‘Follow My Girl’ are very direct and vulnerable, ‘Lilo’ in particular. Did it feel daunting to share such intimate details of your relationship?
No, it felt completely right. The ‘Lilo’ video is such an honest representation of a relationship and that’s why my ex girlfriend is in the video. Being honest feels great, it feels so freeing to just say stuff how it is and not have to allude to things. To just be like “this is a gay video about sad things”, that feels better than being like “ooh this is a very vague hint”, fuck that. Being frank is just very freeing. It’s just nice to be able to speak openly about things; not that I couldn’t before, and it’s not something that I necessarily planned, it’s just happened and I went along with it.
Not only in your songwriting but in your live shows, it seems that you’ve developed a whole new confidence and freedom. Do you feel that too? Is it something that has come as a result of writing an album?
Yeah, I feel more confident. I like myself a bit more. I think the album is a result of being more confident. The way in which I’m being more open and honest is because I’m being more open and honest with myself; and so that’s just reflected in my music. It’s just the change that’s happened to me as a person. It’s definitely the other way around.
You’ve previously spoken about recording the album out in Wisconsin at Bon Iver’s studio, did working there and being so far from home have much of an influence on the sound of the album?
Yeah some of it. It allowed me to do more of it, honestly I have such a bad attention span and to get anything done I have to literally be put in the middle of nowhere, like for example Wisconsin, in the middle of the woods where I can’t leave. There’s just a feel to that place, it was magical.
It’s not long til the full album is released now, are you excited for it to be out in the world or are you nervous to hear the reaction?
I’m just excited, I have no negative feelings concerning the album ‘cause I’m really proud of it, I wanna play it live and I want everyone to hear it; and cry to it. I feel very positive about it, very happy and I just want it to be sooner.