Maxyyy

11 Feb
Music

The Japanese House Explains The Personal Side of Her Highly-Anticipated Debut Album

Amber Bain is probably a name you haven’t heard yet, but maybe you know Bain by her stage name The Japanese House. Debuting in 2015, the British solo artist made waves with her dreamy and elegant indie pop, resulting in a deserved spot in BBC’s prestigious ‘Sound Of…’-list in 2017. Four years after the release of her debut EP, The Japanese House is ready to release her first LP  ‘Good At Falling’ on March 1st. We met up with the interesting singer before her show in Antwerp, where she performed new and old songs.

Hi Amber, welcome to Antwerp! How are you?

I am good, but a little tired…

You released your first EP Pools To Bathe In in 2015. What’s the biggest evolution your music has undergone since your debut?

The album I am releasing is quite frank lyrically and blatant. It’s hard for me to be objective about my own music, because it all sounds the same, but also different to me. What do you think?

I think the album sounds a little bit happier…

Really? I think that lyrically, the album is quite sad. The album has some kind of pace, but it’s difficult to describe it. All music that I like, makes me sad in some kind of way… I think that the mood of the music really depends on the lyrics of a song. My songs have sad lyrics, but hopeful music which makes it always sadder for me, but I am glad that it makes you feel happy (laughs).

In the same year, you’ve released your second EP Clean, which received raving reviews. What does the EP mean to you after this year?

I think that EP is probably one of my favorite ones. I hardly listen to my own music apart from playing it live, but all of these four EP’s are special to me as they are building the soundtrack of my life. I really like EP’s because it’s such a romantic way of consuming music in a small dose and especially the Clean EP has a special place in my heart.

Now, you’re finally releasing your debut album. How was the process of working on your first long project?

I was in the studio for a long period of time and the way I treat songs wasn’t any different than it was before just because I was writing an album. I guess the thing that is different, is that I have changed and that I am older. The way I create music hasn’t necessarily changed.

What should people know before they listen to your debut album?

I don’t think there needs to be anything. I feel like you consume music differently when you know less about the artist. I never really understood the desire to know everything about the artist or creator and put it all into a context because sometimes the most meaningful things are the things your brain creates when you listen or see something. So I really don’t know what I should tell people about the album. What would you say?

Maybe something about if the story is fictional or a fantasy?

The album is definitely very personal, but all writing is some kind of lying in a way. It’s so personal that it’s a lie sometimes and I don’t even know if it’s true. The album includes a lot of personal themes like my mental health, my relationship, my relationship with alcohol or the relationship with myself and has a lot of topics that are quite deep and personal, but that’s pretty clear and no one needs to know that before listening to the album. They’ll listen and will find out.

The Japanese House is to a lot of people very mysterious and mystical and we get the feeling that you don’t like labels. How did that come?

That’s not true, because everyone knows everything about me. I got instantly categorized as someone who doesn’t want to be labeled because I am a girl and wear different clothes, what got me the title of androgynous, because I don’t like dresses and heels. There isn’t a time where I’ve been secretive and I am very open as a person. I don’t think I am mysterious or have anything against being labelled, I just think that that’s the reputation you get when you’re not posting 5000 selfies a day…

Two of your biggest supporters are Matthew Healy and George Daniel of The 1975. What was their part in making the album?

I went to Oxford with them during the last moments of making the album and I basically finished off the album with them. Matty sung in a song and George did some vocals together with me. They’re always a big part in whatever I do and we are as close as you can be when you are a musician. I learnt a lot through the way George produces and was inspired by him a lot. We influence each other a lot and get the best out of each other. We have such a long relationship, that we’ll always be part of each other’s work thanks to our very deep bond.

Since the album is finished, you’re currently on tour to promote your upcoming album. What was the response of your fans so far?

It’s been a good response. For me, it was weird to play songs no one ever heard before, because I never did that before. Shows are always fun to do, so I am looking forward to tonight’s show and the rest of the tour.

Have fun and break a leg!

Photos by Maxim Meyer-Horn for Enfnts Terribles

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