The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: The Japanese House – ‘Good At Falling’ (Dirty Hit)


In a sentence:

A carefully layered album of electropop and indie, the four-year wait for Amber Bain’s debut LP as The Japanese House, ‘Good At Falling’, was worth it.

The time was that nobody knew what The Japanese House actually was, with many people speculating over this anonymous artist, even going as far as to believe it was a side-project of The 1975’s Matty Healy. When its first EP Pools To Bathe In was released back in 2015, this low-profile enigma consistently ducked away from interviews, press and photos and any form of high-profile attention. This, of course, generated insatiable hype amongst fans who were digging and dying for answers, because let’s face it, people cannot resist a secret. Perhaps a bit more Scooby-noo than Agatha Christie, but after a while of playing guess-who, the mystery was finally solved, and The Japanese House revealed itself to be the recording moniker of a solitary Buckinghamshire-based 19 year old, Amber Bain. Now, four years and several impressive EPs later (an eternity in the context of the modern music industry), comes the release of Bain’s first full-length album, Good At Falling.

READ MORE: The Japanese House @ Brudenell Social Club – live review

Oozing a carefully crafted blend of indie-pop and electropop and served fresh with a generous handful of her layered vocals, Bain’s music is a perfect recipe for any queer indie girl. The album’s more-ish introductory appetiser is ‘went to meet her’, its hesitating synth throughout aligning nicely with the progressively mournful vocals.‘Maybe You’re The Reason’ is the second serving that you know you will always go back for, its bright and punchy beat building momentum before thrusting you into the elated chorus “I keep looking for something / even though I know that it’s not there / maybe you’re the reason / every time I try to figure it out / you’re the only thing I can think about / maybe you’re the reason”.

Music video for ‘Maybe You’re The Reason’

‘We Talk All The Time’is a solid portrayal of a relationship tearing at the seams. “We don’t fuck anymore / but we talk all the time so it’s fine” Bain sings as she acknowledges loss and compensates with herself over giddy synth sounds.Songs such as ‘Everybody Hates Me’ and ‘somethingfartoogoodtofeel’demonstrate an even more powerful and woeful flair, while ‘Lilo’ makes for the main course of this album, a moment to which Good At Falling builds towards, finally presented on a silver platter made up of dreamy skipping soundscapes and vocals.

Good At Falling sees Amber Bain truly step out of the shadows and showcases her as a spectacular artist, removed of self-consciousness and capable of a creating a variety of moods for the listener to bask in. Importantly, it answers the one question that fans still had left after all those dazzling EPs – she can do it over a full album too. (8/10) (Rebecca Corbett)

Listen to Good At Falling by The Japanese House here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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