The Japanese House – Clean EP Review

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Over the years, elusive and practically faceless artists have become a rarity. In an age where commercial music seemingly thrives off fan connection on social media, appearance, controversy and personality, it is exceedingly infrequent for an artist or act to emerge and maintain their anonymity. The Japanese House (or Amber Bain) is an exception. Bain first surfaced over a year ago, capturing the attention of many around the world with her cinematic, atmospheric 80’s-esque indie-pop. The success of début EP ‘Pools to Bathe In’ has been followed with latest offering ‘Clean’, a four track EP.

Similarly to ‘Pools to Bathe In’, ‘Clean’ is a lavish-sounding affair and enchanting throughout. Title track ‘Clean’ opens with scatty oriental-sounding synthesisers and clonking bells before unsettled percussion and a mesh of broken vocals carry the rest of the song. ‘Cool Blue’ is the E.P’s superlative track, beginning with gentle guitar riffs and melancholic, dreamy vocals. It evolves into an ’80’s-sounding synthpop track with shuffling percussion and gorgeous syrupy layered vocals. Like the rest of Bain’s work, it’s dreamy, atmospheric and enchanting.

‘Letter By The Water’ is more moody in tone and features gorgeous reverberating guitars and synthesisers amongst eerie sound effects representing water. It’s a little heavier than the first two tracks but still hugely enjoyable. EP closer ‘Sugar Pill’ utilises sombre piano chords before launching into an electro track abundant with jittery synths and stuttering percussion.

An enthralling and endearing E.P; a reinforcement that The Japanese House are only just beginning…

Rating: 4/5.

‘Clean’ is available now.

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