Fresh Faces 2017 Reviews

The Japanese House – “Saw You In a Dream” Ep Review

22-year-old UK solo artist Amber Bain releases her fourth EP, Saw You In A Dream, under androgynous moniker, The Japanese House. Settling into the contemporary indie genre of dream pop, Bain stands out in her EP by showcasing her ever-evolving voice over synthetic instrumental effects.

“Saw You In A Dream,” the first song on the album, embodies her individual’s manner of elegance. Singing of the appearance of a past lover in her dreams, the rest of The Japanese House’s new EP continues to draw out these old, discolored memories. The result of listening to the EP is a grace of receiving and accepting sadness.

In previous EPs—Swim Against the Tide (2016), Clean (2015), Pools To Bathe In (2015)—Bain showed clear musical artistry, but often lost her voice amongst catchy, instrumental synths and mesmerizing aesthetics. Instead, Saw You In A Dream should pride itself on its talent in spoken tenderness, especially in the third track, “Somebody you found.” The fourth EP is shyer about its use of electronica vocals, therefore allowing Bain’s natural harmonies to shine through.

Playing for nine tempered minutes, the fourth and last track, “Count To Nine,” slowly builds its layers and accents her expertise in creating a dream-like ambience with the piano, guitar, and a slow beat. Although Bain styles herself with the mystifying of her voice, she pairs overwhelmingly well, this musical poise with a calming image of Bain’s childhood Japanese summerhouse.