On November 8th, Marathon Music Works came alive as The Japanese House graced the stage. Amber Bain, more famously known by her stage name The Japanese House is an English indie-pop artist whose dreamy mix of soft synths and poignant lyrics have gathered a cult following. She first began releasing music anonymously in 2015 under Dirty Hit Records. Since then, The Japanese House has established herself as a master of capturing pain hidden behind romantic harmonies. The title of her sophomore album, which this tour supports, speaks to this unique ability.
In the End It Always Does is filled with stories of love and loss, all through the lens of Bain’s playful perspective. It speaks to the cyclical nature of beginning relationships that are bound to end, and everything that comes in between. Produced by George Daniel of The 1975, it is an album full of catchy hooks and deep introspection. Hits such as “Touching Yourself” and “Sunshine Baby” have you dancing along one moment and then immediately stopping to ponder the concept of sexting or the inescapable transient nature of love. The music is intoxicating, which clearly transfers to the stage. Marathon Music Works was packed to the brim and buzzing with energy in the moments before The Japanese House took the stage. As soon as Amber Bain stepped out, the room went wild. She held the audience in the palm of her hand, taking them on a journey through the full range of human emotions. Bain did not speak much with the crowd, maintaining the mysterious persona that was first established when she hid her identity at the beginning of her career. However, she did not need long, meandering speeches to forge an undeniable connection. Every person in the room was singing along and dancing, whether they knew the words or not.
One of the most exciting parts of the entire set was towards the end, when she sang “Friends,” a sexy, upbeat song about threesomes. Everyone in the audience was twirling and dancing as The Japanese House rocked the stage with catchy choruses and epic saxophone solos. The stage lights flashed all colors of the rainbow, making it feel like one large celebration of love and everything that comes with it. At her core, that is the kind of music and environment that Amber Bain creates. She is an enigma within the music industry and few artists possess the ability to be as effortlessly cool and genuine as The Japanese House. Make sure to grab a ticket to one of the remaining North American shows or check out her album In the End It Always Does on all streaming platforms to experience the magnetism of The Japanese House for yourself!
- Abby Jester
Photos Courtesy of Lillie Hollabaugh (For Bell Music Magazine)