EP Review – The Japanese House “Saw You In A Dream”

EP Review – The Japanese House “Saw You In A Dream”

Indie pop solo artists Amber Bain is perhaps known better by her stage name, The Japanese House. The Japanese House first appeared in 2015 with albums Pools to Bathe In and Clean. The singles and the albums both shook the market, becoming instant hits for the indie circles launching The Japanese House into acclaim. 2016 brought about another hit laden release Swim Against the Tide.  Mixing ethereal electronic elements with ambient sonic patterns, all three releases have come to brand The Japanese House with a certain sound and appeal. Continuing this musical exploration of sound and life, The Japanese House has created EP Saw You In a Dream. The four-song compilation offers both new and familiar sounds, displaying the lovely evolution of artistry and mastery.

Title track “Saw You In a Dream” is the first song found on the EP. The ethereal and clean song has a slow and swinging electronic sound that links the track with its predecessors. The clear electronic influences of the song are certainly on brand for The Japanese House, and yet this song offers a more breathy take to electronic indie pop. The song has brilliant bits of space laden into it, giving the song an almost nostalgic feel to it. It is certainly more simple sonically, not in a bad way but in a very refreshing and youthful way. This ease given by the simple structure and breathy air gives the song room to grow and evolve on the live stage, something that no doubt The Japanese House will master.

“Saw You In a Dream” is an excellent opener, combining standard sound with some new motions. “Somebody You Found” follows this tune. With strong electronic distortions both to the instruments as well as to the vocals, “Somebody You Found” has a very futuristic and full sound to it. With overlaying harmonies and a song break that reveals a more pop R+B side to it, the song is very modern and displays the expansion of genre nuances that seem to be appearing in The Japanese House releases. The song is unquestionably electronic and alien like; with much more sonic moments packed in it is not at all breathy or airy as the title track. It offers a really nice juxtaposition to the first song, displaying the vast talent of The Japanese House to craft unique and yet seamless tunes.

“3/3” is another ambient song that feels open. With instrumental diffusion and layover of vocals the song has that nice indie sparseness intermixed with electronic moments that has come to typify The Japanese House. Talking about the void of life, “emotionless and frozen I was going through the motions,” the song certainly has an emptiness to it that is hauntingly intriguing. The EP ends with “Count to Nine.” The sentiment dripping electronic dub step song is the most like others released in previous years, staying on brand and in context.

For every band the concept of continuous releasing of songs can be challenging. Understanding and creating a sound that is familiar but fresh can be a daunting task. The Japanese House however does not seem to have any issue with this. Saw You In a Dream is the perfect compilation of old and new. With sonic similarity the songs are crafted with that lovely ambient indie electronic vibe that The Japanese House is known for.

Yet this EP offers greater amounts of ethereal space and sonic mixing that offer a fresh take on the sound. It is an exciting release for The Japanese House that fans will no doubt adore.

 

Reviewer: Kylie McCormick

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