Review Summary: mesmerising
"Pools To Bathe In" is the utterly mesmerising debut EP from 19-year-old Londoner Amber Bain aka The Japanese House. There is a real air of mystery surrounding the artist, with very little information available online and only a handful of pictures of Bain herself, however this only adds to the alluring nature of the music. Her experimental sound fuses elements of electro-pop and folk, similar to James Blake, and Bon Iver’s self-titled second album. The EP is also reminiscent of some material from The 1975 (M.O.N.E.Y, Menswear, Head.Cars.Bending), namely due to Matty Healy and George Daniels of the band being credited as producers.
Her sudden rise to popularity came after the title track from the EP climbed high on online charts and made its way onto various blogs and articles. This track opens the EP, with pleasant acoustic guitar fading in alongside Bain’s gospelesque layered harmonies. Midway through, the track changes direction completely with a rumbling sucker-punch bass drop beneath chopped up vocals and glitchy electronics. The ebb and flow between calm and frantic is what makes this track so stimulating.
The third track “Still” is the best of the four, with stirring lyrics that sing of the prospect of rekindling a failed relationship and how difficult that can be when trying to heal the scars created first time around. The emotional depth adds a further dimension to the music, which takes this song above and beyond the others. There is a sense of desperation in Bain’s cries of “you’re all I’ve got” and it sends chills down the spine. Her lyrics and song writing ability show maturity beyond her years and a real connection can be made between listener and track.
It’s refreshing to see an artist rise to popularity simply due to the quality and diversity of the music, without any reliance on the singers appearance or image. It is also very promising to see this amount of talent in somebody so young and if you hadn’t of heard The Japanese House before this review, it was only a matter of time.