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THE JAPANESE HOUSE Good at Fallsing


UK singer and producer Amber Bain is set to bring her dreamy, glitchy The Japanese House to Falls Fest on Sunday, January 5, playing her first-ever WA festival set. After a packed 2019, Bain did not stop at releasing an excellent debut and one of the year’s better albums, Good At Falling. She is back on the release train, having put out two recent singles, Chewing Cotton Wool and Something Has to Change. KIERRA POLLOCK chatted to the singer about breakdowns, breakups, stage attire and found out more details about her upcoming EP.

Something Has To Change has been quite a hit, what is the track about?

It’s about a being in a cycle of not getting over someone. It’s a very simple song. When you’re getting over someone, if you repeat the same actions, you aren’t going to get a different outcome.

How are you feeling about visiting Australia for Falls Festival?

I’m excited! I just heard it’s like 40 degrees out there, which I didn’t think it would be. It’s hard to know what to wear when it’s really hot on stage, cause you don’t want to wear shorts. I think I’d have a gender breakdown if I wore a dress on stage, all my fans would have one too. Shorts look weird on stage, but that’s the only thing I’m worried about, I’m just being a drama queen.

Good At Falling was one of my favourite albums this year, it brings out these feelings of anxiety to me, what kind of emotions does it draw out for you?

I guess similar to you probably. It’s hard to feel anything when you’ve played the songs a thousand times, but when I listen to it occasionally I do go back to how I felt when I wrote the songs. I think it’s mainly talking about the breakdown of a relationship and the breakdown of mental health. If anything I probably feel relief now.

So it’s a different feeling playing them live?

Yeah and I think anyone would tell you when you’ve played songs one hundred times or whatever, it’s nice, but it’s not the same, you couldn’t live the lyrics, or you’d have a breakdown if you felt something every time you played a song. Now it’s more about an audience’s reaction, it becomes separate from the meaning of the song. When everyone’s going to a gig, they want to have a good time, or they want to be emotional, but it’s a different experience from sitting on your own listening to it.

You’re signed to Dirty Hit, and their artists are known to constantly be collaborating on music or touring together, what’s it like being a part of that family?

I’ve been there since I was 17 and George (Daniels, the 1975) has produced my stuff, and Matty (Healy) too. I think I’ve just been there since I was so young that I feel very close to the people that have been there for a long time. Obviously now there’s a load of new artists that I haven’t even met. When I first joined, there was like four of us, but I remember going on tours with Wolf Alice and The 1975 and feeling like it was tight-knit.

Saw You In A Dream is my favourite song of yours, you have two versions of it that have been released. Do you have a favourite version?

My favourite version I think is the demo that’s not released, but that’s always the way because you always like the first thing that you do, and it has a certain amount of nostalgia to it, and it sounds a bit shit but it’s kind of cute. Out of the two that are released, I don’t know, maybe the first one, the full production one.

Something Has To Change is just one of a few singles you’ve released lately, is there something in the works that you can tell us about?

It’s part of an EP. Which I think is called, I can’t remember, either Something Has To Change or Chewing Cotton Wool, it’s one of those. It’s four tracks, obviously, Something Has To Change and Chewing Cotton Wool will be on it, and two other tracks that I’ve done but I still need to decide on names for. I don’t know when it will be out, I have no idea, I’m going to say two months. It’s nearly ready.

It’s the end of the year and everyone is doing their yearly wrap up lists, since your album was on my list, what albums were on yours?

I loved the Caroline Polachek album, I loved the MUNA album, apart from that, I can’t remember which albums have been released this year!

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