Taking a look at TJH’s debut record
Label: Dirty Hit
Whilst ‘Good at Falling’ may be the debut album by The Japanese House, A.K.A. Amber Bain, this is not the first time she has exhibited her talent. In 2015 Bain released her first extended play – ‘Pools To Bathe In’. This release was pushed with an enigma, who was The Japanese House? Her moniker, alongside androgynous vocals and heavily synthesized and produced music helped with assisting that anonymity. She did not want her music to be defined by her gender or her name, however within months she outgrew the nom de plume as she became used to the spotlight.
Bain’s music has progressed through the years and shifted through many genres, however this record is very much rooted in dreampop. With heavy 80’s synthpop and influence, this album brings a lot of nostalgia and is simply intoxicating.
‘Good at Falling’ follows a relationship, the highs and the lows before the heartache and eventual breakdown. It is an incredibly emotive and honest record. What makes her music so magical is the way she manages to entice you and pluck you from reality and into her own perspective. Bain has a unique habit of composing soft, swirling, ambient sounds together to create a dreamlike state that you can truly lose yourself in. That is why I love this album so dearly, because it is so easy to lose yourself in.
The album ranges between upbeat songs and slowed down ones – the last song ‘i saw you in a dream’ is stripped back completely and is extremely raw. This song deals with the death of Bain’s first love and the grieving that followed. This range is very clever considering the intro carries a slower pace and the outro is haunting and atmospheric. The album does not shy away from being evocative, that’s for sure. Songs like ‘Follow My Girl’ and ‘We Talk All the Time’ are much dancier, and whilst you could not scream and dance to them in a club setting, you could have the time of your life either dancing in your room or laying on your back simply reminiscing. That is the beauty of this album, it is so powerful and versatile.
Words by Chloe Turvey