The Japanese House: Good at Falling review – Dreary debut from 1975 labelmates

Wed, Feb 27, 2019, 08:00

   
 

Album:
Good at Falling

Artist:
The Japanese House

Label:
Dirty Hit

Genre:
Alternative

Good at Falling has nothing directly to do with Japan, or house music for that matter. The Japanese House is the moniker for Buckinghamshire solo artist Amber Bain, a friend and associate of the all-conquering alt-pop monsters The 1975.

She has been quietly beavering away with some mysterious low-key releases without any photos or press releases, prompting some commentators to speculate that The Japanese House is the work of 1975 singer Matt Healy. With the release of her debut album, Bain reveals herself and steps out of their shadows.

While there is undoubtedly some kinship and stylistic common ground, Bain’s songs differ from those of her famous friends. When they’re good, such as the single Maybe You’re the Reason, Bain effectively blends pop, R’n’B sensibilities and indie.

When it’s bad, it is pretty insipid and dreary, and drenched in irritatingly processed vocoder vocals, a party trick that The 1975 are much better at. Good at Falling is also far too long.

There are more than enough good ideas and well-realised songs here to constitute a cracking EP, but The Japanese House has some way to go before emulating the quality and influence of her labelmates.