Album Review: The Japanese House - 'Good at Falling'

Amber Bain, otherwise known as The Japanese House is back with the debut album ‘Good at Falling’ which is being realised on the 1st March 2019. To celebrate, Bain has said she will be visiting 3 Rough Trade stores across the UK and will be giving an acoustic performance. Notts locals will be pleased to know that The Japanese House will be blessing our ears at Nottingham’s Rough Trade on the 5th March.

“Went to Meet Her” opens the album. The song begins with an electronic instrumental that makes you feel as if you’re in some kind of dream like state, in a tropical rainforest. The use of sounds from nature combined with electronic and lyrical notes is fascinating. It is fairly short in comparison to the other songs, yet sets a tone for the mesmerising feel you get from the songs on the rest of the album.

“Maybe You’re the Reason” follows, having been released as an EP as part of the build-up to this album. The song reflects searching for hope even when nothing seems to be there or it doesn’t seem to have any meaning. For such a sad song, it is unusually upbeat which is definitely a re-occurring theme throughout this album.

“We Talk all the Time” focuses on a dying relationship and ‘falling’ out of love but denying it because you still talk. The upbeat nature of the song again masks the real sadness the song is trying to convey. It is blunt, uplifting and somewhat motivational and I can’t help but love it. The whole dream pop vibe just really does it for me and it suits the whole prophetic message of the song.

The track “Wild” follows, starting with a dreamy enchanting intro that could easily send someone into a lull. The song seems to be about self-reflection, with lyrics such as “watching myself go”. It truly seems to encompass the whole ambiance of ‘falling’, whether this be in love or out of control. It seems to focus on ‘trying’ to be good enough for others rather than yourself. The theme of masking upset is yet again prevalent in the song. “You Seemed so Happy” is an upbeat song within the album and is somewhat mature in its train of thought as it deals with the juxtaposition of the mind and reality and how they conflict; proving that looking happy doesn’t equal feeling happy.

“Follow My Girl” follows the list of somewhat depressing songs but there is almost a plot twist with the positive tone of the song. There’s an attention on fixing things that have gone wrong and listening to good advice to solve them. This song seems so strangely positive for The Japanese House but it made me smile when reflecting on it in comparison to the previous songs. “somethingfartogoodtofeel” is the embodiment of what someone would consider a dream like song, characteristic of The Japanese House. Featuring a symphony of guitar combined with classic Jap House melodies.  It is romantic, erotic and yet again another question of reality.

“Lilo” is a sweet love song and I can’t help but be entranced by it. It is again reflective of the self but also upon the beginnings of a new love and I really like the metaphorical use of comparing a calm floating ‘Lilo’ to the passionate beginnings of love. On “Everybody Hates Me”, the pairing of the melodic piano and the electronica worked really well, really captivating my attention. The ‘says it on the tin’ title of the song is something that I feel we can all relate to at some point in our lives. It is not covered up by an upbeat tune but you’re taken on a journey (I feel like I should admit that this song made me cry).

“Marika is Sleeping” follows and truly sounds like something out of a classic Disney film with its entwined orchestral and electronica melodies. It works brilliantly as a really captivating piece from The Japanese House which again deals with the artist’s mental struggles. “Worms” is a beautiful love song that makes you feel those feelings of a first love all over again. Its upbeat and all about self-love which I couldn’t get enough of!!

“f a r a w a y” as the name suggests is about a long distant relationship. Its groovy 70s vibe was more than welcome and seems to be a positive reflection on distance and love. A good penultimate ending to an album filled with love, heartbreak and self-reflection. “Saw You In A Dream”– The 2017 hit features on the album as the same dream like piece, however it is an acoustic in the new album. The song is about Bain seeing someone who she had previously been close with pass away in a dream. Unsurprisingly, this track is ironically upbeat but the acoustic vibe slows the song right down and creates a very chill and relaxed vibe. It brings it back to being a dreamy love/heartbreak song. A perfect way to conclude an album.

The Japanese House is characterised by intoxicating, dreamy pop with hints of electronic music, which has been transmitted through this album. It seems that for all the upset Bain has gone through, it is masked effectively by positive and relaxed melodies. This is a fantastic album and has been so brilliantly crafted and put together. Definitely up the street of any dream pop lover.

#GoodatFalling #AmberBain #dreampop #TheJapaneseHouse #newalbum