Given the current climate of contemporary electropop music, you’d be hard pushed to find an artist that is not setting out to purely make a three and a half minute chart-topping song, consisting of a chanting chorus and a rigid, trap-esque rhythm.
Yet, the vibrant energy of Amber Bain’s musical advances reveals a completely different story. The Japanese House – a synth and guitar-led pop act consisting of Bain alone – delves into much more than the popular music that we are used to. She is able to mould melodies into stories of love, identity and adventure and her most recent EP, Saw You In A Dream, does just that.
The EP’s title track relies on a simple beat and minimal melodic complications in order to emphasise Bain’s carefully calculated vocals. They are calculated through the clear relationship that Bain’s vocals have with the production – each lyric embedded into the melody effortlessly and unscathed.
The majority of her work is self-produced, and each song acts as the evidence of its success. ‘Saw You In A Dream’ is a song to be swayed to and its electro-pop pulse encourages the listener to bop the head and tap a foot for the entire four minutes,
whilst segments of chiming guitar echo alongside the vocals.
‘Somebody You Found’ demonstrates a similar structure and sound that again enables Bain to share her haunting voice with distinctive diction, whilst ‘3/3’ offers a different audio experience. Its slower tempo and prominent ‘clap’ on each beat, shows Bain’s ability to make arena anthems that deserve to be sung by audiences at the top of their lungs.
Closing track, ‘Count To Nine’ epitomises what The Japanese House is really about. The work is nine minutes long and opens with a glorious soundscape that gives the image of the sun awakening from a nightlong absence. This then promptly cuts to the sound of a twinkling acoustic guitar cushioning Bain’s harmonised vocals. Unlike the previous sounds that are explored throughout her career, ‘Count To Nine’ blends many more genres and involves so much musicality.
Despite being somewhat of an electro-pop musician in her own right, Amber Bain, along with her latest musical offering as The Japanese House, has once again shattered the stereotypical view of what an electro-pop musician is and has to be.
WORDS BY TOM MOODEY
FEATURED PHOTO BY DANNY NORTH