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The Japanese House – Manchester Academy 16.03.2019

For the students of Manchester there is no better way to kick off a night out than with some live music. You need only take a glance at The University of Manchester’s Academy venues on a Saturday night to see a hub of activity for the young music fan. Those of us lucky enough to be in the city on that cold, dreary evening of the 16th followed their lead to the Academy 2 venue where rising Alt Pop act, The Japanese House set off the night.

The Japanese House is the solo project of Amber Bain, the singer/songwriter from Buckinghamshire who has frequently collaborated with her Dirty Hit lablemates The 1975. Bain debuted under the name The Japanese House in 2015 with the EP 'Pools To Bathe In', followed by 'Swim Against The Tide' in 2016. One of my favourite tracks from the latter EP - 'Face Like Thunder' opened the set at Academy 2, but it was the newer material to come that would really win me over by the end of the night.

Bain’s debut album 'Good At Falling' is a self-reflective piece where melancholy lyrics lend themselves to ghostly electronic harmonies that are moving to hear live, especially in such songs as 'Everybody Hates Me' and 'I Saw You In A Dream'. Even the seemingly up-beat guitar-led numbers like' You Seemed So Happy' and 'We Talk All The Time' have an introspective, heartsick quality to them. Bain’s lyrics and sound invite you to look back on her own insecurities and relationships as if we were looking at our own. In the hands of another band perhaps this would’ve slowed down a Saturday night but instead, you’re drawn in by The Japanese House’s rich, hypnotising soundscape. My personal favourites of the night had to be 'Lilo' and the latest single 'Maybe You’re The Reason'.

The Japanese House have one final show in London on Tuesday the 19th before going on tour in the States. The debut album 'Good at Falling' is out now.

Photos - Brent Jones

Review - Ellen Jones

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