THE JAPANESE HOUSE – “Saw You In A Dream” (EP Review)
21-year-old Amber Bain and her moniker The Japanese House has quickly become a staple in the dream pop genre within the past 2 years. It’s been a long seven months since Bain’s previous release Swim Against The Tide, which showed an even lighter, experimental side to Amber we hadn’t yet seen. With her newest release Saw You In A Dream, it’s completely evident there are no signs of Amber slowing down as she continues to unravel us into an extremely intimate side of the realm that is The Japanese House.
The title track ‘Saw You In A Dream’, sets the tone for this new release in classic Amber Bain fashion. Light on her use of vocals, the track matches hazy instrumentals with melancholic lyrics full of imagery that really brings the song to life. Written about the death of an old childhood friend, the song is a beautiful juxtaposition of love and pain that Bain has so easily perfected.
“You were the sweetest apparition, such a pretty vision.”
Bain brings back iconic elements from her first two EPs on tracks like ‘Somebody You Found’ and ‘3/3’, including the use of vocoders, synths and the moody minimalist aesthetic that comes with the presence of The Japanese House.
Last but definitely not least, ’Count to Nine’ is not only the longest song Bain has released under her dreamy alter-ego but the most experimental. Bain’s obvious inspiration from Imogen Heap and Bon Iver are heavily intwined in this track and Bain stops at nothing to pull out all sorts of new sounds and surprises. ‘Count to Nine’ is nine minutes of controlled chaos sectioned off into waves of betrayal that constantly crash into your soul. It’s delicate, pulsating, and nevertheless, innovative.
Saw You In A Dream is an EP that hits all the expectations that come with a release from The Japanese House. It’s beautifully calming, composed, synaesthetic and carefully begs the question… What more can Amber Bain surprise us with in her upcoming debut full length? This is the highly anticipated question we will soon find out.
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- Georgia Dickinson