On her bold and personal debut album, Amber Bain of The Japanese House masters the art of artistic subtlety, creating a soundscape experience that gives you the feeling of dreaming while wide awake. She has placed herself well and truly amongst the most exciting emerging artists of the past few years, as well as proving to be more than able to further lift the ever rising stock of the Dirty Hit record label.
Amber Bain’s mix of luscious dreampop and indietronica has been bubbling under the surface for a couple of years now, continually building momentum towards a surefire moment where she can unveil her inner psyche in the form of a full body of work. Ever since her inception into Dirty Hit Records in 2015, her EP and single releases have been blissful, dreamy and passionate; and needless to say she has delivered that once more in abundance on her full length debut.
Good At Falling has a whimsical aura to it from the very first moments of went to meet her (intro) thanks to some trendy and pulsing production. The whole thing feels like a project that was designed to be listened to in one sitting, with such wonderful attention to detail put into fine tuning each musical element; from the core songwriting to the final mix. It became rather apparent that this was a concept piece rather than a collection of songs, something which works in it’s favour.
Lyrically Amber takes us all on an emotional journey through over-investment and emotional release, weighing up the good and the bad of both these feelings. Each song feels like the next piece of the jigsaw, except rather than them coming together to make one definitive narrative, each piece in itself tells it’s own tale. The wholeheartedly relatable topic of refusing to let go of feelings on Maybe You’re The Reason tells it’s own portrayal of the world, but is far different in terms of lyrical mood than the glamorously beautiful f a r a w a y which details the sheer bliss of being in love.
The production of her music has always been a large selling point in The Japanese House’s music; but on Good At Falling it moves into a whole new realm of beauty. The stripped back acoustic guitar riff on You Seemed so Happy holds as much power as the string orchestral sounds do on Marika Is Sleeping. If an instrument can create a soft and generally lovely sound, it makes it’s way onto this album in some capacity. As well as this, the whole thing just flows together so well, each song feels impeccably placed in the tracklist to best portray the album’s meaning and narrative; creating little to no anomaly in the project’s back-to-back sound.
What makes these songs and thus the album so great is the kaleidoscopic expedition it takes you on; not only witnessing Amber tell her own story, but also being able to resonate with those anecdotes yourself. Good At Falling is a sonic experience for the discovery of love, oneself and the feeling of being lost in space. It works as a listening aid for both good and dark times, moments of self-reflection and eager anticipation; as debut albums go, they don’t come more sweet and colourful than this.