EP Review: Saw You In A Dream // The Japanese House

Creating her own unique brand of indie pop, Amber Bain, aka The Japanese House, has today (30th June) unveiled yet another treat for listeners in the form of fourth EP, Saw You In A Dream. Released on Dirty Hit Records, the track list includes “Somebody You Found”, “3/3” and title-track “I Saw You In A Dream”, alongside previously unreleased song “Count To Nine”. The EP is Bain’s first of 2017, and follows Pools To Bathe In, Clean, and critically acclaimed Swim Against The Tide, all of which were launched in 2015 and 2016.

Opening with “Saw You In A Dream”, Bain’s haunting vocals are prominent throughout the track and are offset perfectly by subtle guitar chords and a laid-back beat. Achingly emotional, Bain herself has claimed that the clearly present nature of the vocals represents her desire for the track to be honest; “It’s a very clear message; I didn’t want to drown my vocals in too many harmonies this time because the melody is quite strong on its own. Rather than hide your sadness about your loss of someone, it’s a nice thing to admit ‘I miss them’”.

 “Somebody You Found” is futuristic in sound, combining altered vocal harmonies and subtle synth patterns to create a track with intense instrumental texture. With a beat pattern reminiscent of eighties pop music, the tune merges multiple genres to create an interesting synthesis of styles. The introductory choral synth of third track “3/3” is initially eerie in tone, before misleadingly blending into a comforting mix of acoustic guitar notes and gentle vocals. However, the synth soon returns, accompanied by funky electric guitar riffs and light bass, resulting in a fun track that twists and turns, never reaching a definitive sound.

Finally, “Count To Nine” is largely instrumental, once again merging a strong beat, acoustic guitar and Bain’s incredible vocals in a track that last nine minutes in total. A hauntingly beautiful song, “Count To Nine” is a somehow relaxing whirlwind of genres and instruments, and makes for a compelling, if not sometimes confusing listen. With a fresh, innovative, and ever-changing style, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for an album from The Japanese House very soon.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Japanese House’s Saw You In A Dream is out today via Dirty Hit, and is available to purchase here.

You can catch The Japanese House at the following festival dates this summer:

Sun         02           GLOUCESTERSHIRE              Barn On the Farm Festival
Thu         06           WINCHESTER                        Blissfields Festival
Fri           14           SUFFOLK                                Latitude Festival
Fri           28           BUDE                                      Leopalooza Festival 

Sat          05           CHICAGO                               Lollapalooza Festival
Fri           11           SAN FRANCISCO                  Outside Lands Festival
Sat          26           READING                               Festival
Sun         27           LEEDS                                     Festival

 Words by Kate Eldridge

Author avatar
Kate Eldridge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.