The Japanese House: not an architectural masterpiece; not a national landmark; no, The Japanese House is, in reality, an indie music gem that certainly should not be ignored. The stage persona of twenty-year-old British muse Amber Bain, The Japanese House offers a unique style that can only be best described as haunting, ethereal, and everything your ears never knew they needed. Bain utilizes The Japanese House in such a way that she successfully harbors an idiosyncrasy that ultimately becomes addictive; masterfully blending luminous vocals with dreamy instrumentals so as to create tracks truly like no other.
If you had not yet heard of The Japanese House until now, that’s OK. Bain only just released her first track under the pseudonym earlier this year: a supernal, captivating three-minute track entitled “Still.” The tune showcased Bain’s magnetic vocals and knack for mixing instrumentals; proving her to be an act not to be ignored.
Listen: “Still” – The Japanese House
The utter fascination with The Japanese House may also be due in part to a particularly noticeable attribute: for the first few months of The Japanese House’s existence, Amber Bain was almost entirely anonymous. There were very few photos of Bain online, and her social media didn’t offer very many clues, either. Images posted never offered any possible hint of the face behind the voice. Bain’s anonymity, when subsequently combined with her addicting and haunting tunes, created an aura of mystique and fascination that continued to draw people to her.
Since her formal musical debut with “Still,” Bain and The Japanese House have just continued to grow in popularity. She subsequently released her debut EP, Pools To Bathe In (Dirty Hit), which serves as an alluring, hypnotizing Indie treasure that firmly separates The Japanese House from anyone and everyone. It would not be unfair, however, to compare Bain’s use of instrumentals to that of, say, The 1975: Matty Healy and George Daniel serve as producers on almost all of Bain’s tracks. When presented side-by-side, this becomes notably apparent; Bain’s use of beatific synth blended with interspersing drum beats and the occasional guitar riff are all token markers of a classic The 1975 track. That’s not to say that the influence isn’t well-received, however; it most definitely complements the inimitable sound that Bain is trying to achieve with The Japanese House.
Most recently, The Japanese House released two new tracks: the enchanting and seraphic “Cool Blue,” and the empyreal and haunting “Clean.” The former was most recently released, on the 15th of September, and blends Bain’s distinct, heavy vocals with a divergent, flouncing backing track. The latter, released on the 7th of September, is a stunning example of Indie synth-pop gone so, so right: an evocative, emotional track with a tangible intensity that is pushed even further by Bain’s deep, yearning vocals and the palpable, repeated lyric “I was good.” Whether it was intentional or not, “Clean” evokes sympathy–and perhaps even empathy–thanks heavily in part to its impassioned redundancy.
Listen: “Clean” – The Japanese House
Though The Japanese House is still very much in its infancy, it is not too far off to believe that this will inevitably go somewhere great. Amber Bain is an alluring figure, and The Japanese House fosters a unique vibe unlike anything else presently on the music scene. Fascination will continue to grow, and popularity will follow suit. The Japanese House, like any great architectural work, has been built soundly and successfully; a solid foundation that will not be destroyed.