The Japanese House’s appeal has, for four years now, lay in the intricacies of her low-fi, electro, bedroom indie. Now, with the force of Dirty Hit and label partners-turned-producers The 1975 behind her, Amber Bain has put forward an extroverted, mesmerising and impressive debut album; Good At Falling'.
A self-professed producer rather than performer, The Japanese House’s new record -- released 1 March via Dirty Hit -- both proves and disproves this. From track one, went to meet her (intro), the album is drowned in Bain’s signature production licks that have gripped critics and fans alike since her debut EP. The opening track welcomes in newer listeners with its classic Japanese House-esque vocals bathed in autotune, contrasted by an emotional depth rarely seen in pop. Such intimacy carries through to the second track, stand-out single Maybe You’re the Reason, which features a catchy-as-hell chorus that brings Bain’s music out of her bedroom and ready for an arena.
Latest single We Talk All The Time continues The Japanese House’s home-run of bouncing choruses, but highlights an occasional disconnect between the quality of production, and song. Sometimes in this record, verses can be mesmerising on a sonic level, but would offer very little played on an acoustic guitar. Still, Bain more frequently pulls off her own brand of pop that she can be forgiven for not always playing by the rules; Lilo is a charming single that is only improved by its incredible production.
The record closes with a more electronic back end, where tracks like Worms and f a r a w a y bring the listener further into Bain’s world. These are set to be fan favourites; album tracks you wouldn’t want to tell people about. They precede i saw you in a dream, a beautiful, ethereal fan favourite from Bain’s mesmerising 2017 Saw You In A Dream EP. The track has been stripped back from its original electric feel, simply adding to the melancholy heartache of the song.
Good At Falling is a debut LP worth waiting for after the tease of four EPs from Buckinghamshire-born Amber Bain. The Japanese House truly owns her genre, and shows it off in this heartbreaking, yet mesmerising first record.
Good At Falling is released 1st March on Dirty Hit.