By Francesca Frankis, Second year History
Francesca Frankis talks to The Japanese House following the release of her debut album, Good at Falling.
On a sunny Sunday morning, just two weeks after the release of her first album ‘Good at Falling’, I caught up with the Japanese House aka Amber Bain over the phone during on her day off from her latest tour. We got on to talking about a whole mixture of things, from bringing her dog along on tour with her, to producing her album in Bon Iver’s ‘cabin’.
Good at Falling, Bain’s first studio album after a string of EP releases over the past few years has received excellent response, from critics and fans alike. Since finishing the album and finally seeing its release after months of much anticipation, Bain explained how the last couple of weeks had been ‘more of a relief than anything else’. Whilst the feeling of being able to successfully ‘paint some sort of a picture’ for listeners stood out for her when she heard peoples initial reactions to the album. When we spoke she had just finished off her second show of her small UK tour and didn't hesitate to mention her dog Calvin, who she decided to bring tour with her. It was easy to see just from how Bain spoke how much she is enjoying her live shows and performing the new songs. She told me how knowing people liked the album just as much as she did and being able to see this at gigs was a great feeling. A personal favourite track of hers to perform on stage is ‘follow my girl’, which didn't surprise me, with its punchy chorus and interesting guitar part, it has one of the most energetic sounds on the record.
We got on to talking about the creative process of writing an album, which was significant, this being her first full length album. Bain didn't hold back to explain how she had travelled out to ‘Bon Iver’s cabin’ and recording studio in Wisconsin to record the album, (much to my disappointment, apparently it is not an actual cabin), she described it as a surreal experience, despite not meeting Bon Iver himself. Whilst it was recorded out in Wisconsin, Bain explained to me how Good at Falling actually deals with some tracks that were written years ago, a perfect example being ‘Wild’, which was originally written when she was only sixteen. However, she maintained that there is no intentional chronological order to the album, but an overall picture of the last several years. Like any good artist Bain also spoke about some other musicians she's been enjoying lately, which included Art School Girlfriend and Fake Laugh, both fellow musicians who have supported The Japanese House at gigs recently.
When asked if she could go back in time and give herself some advice prior to writing the album, Bain explained that she didn't feel she would change too much as ‘the creative outcome would have been different’, but more than anything she would simply tell herself ‘to not stress as much as I did’. Whilst the advice she gave to aspiring musicians, when asked, was that the key is ‘being original and not sounding like every other thing out there’; and I feel this sentiment is reflected in Bain’s latest work, pushing the boundaries of the indie dream pop genre.
After the success of her first album, The Japanese House says she is already ‘excited to move onto the next thing’, and she has certainly done a good job with Good at Falling in laying the foundation for a whole array of original sound to come.
Featured Image: Isobel Turner/ Instagram
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