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Melancholic and dreamy, yet powerful and revealing: there’s no better way to describe the second album The Japanese House released within just one year. Yes, it’s only in April 2015, that the London based Amanda Bains (19) came out with Pools to Bathe In. Yet here she is to extend her success with a flawless follow up Clean.
Raw and relatable, The Japanese House unleashes her inner hardships on her new EP Clean. Both invigorating and intoxicating, it’s a must for synth pop fans.
Much like her debut album, this 4 track EP, has been co-produced by Bain herself with the 1975 members George Daniel and Matthew Healy, who clearly take electro-pop to a whole new level. Her signature multi-layered vocals laced with misplaced beats and waves, synthesisers, guitars, samplers and impeccable lyrics make the whole sound like an honest and absolutely stunning confession. Bains, really comes clean. Both in music and lyrics.
Clean is the title track and first single from The Japanese House’s forthcoming EP. The serene and slightly fragile vocoder-treated vocals you will hear throughout the song blend beautifully with a soft, sleek beat. Nothing more, nothing less. The track sounds exactly as it’s named: (pure and) clean. It portrays how a shattered soul can be mended within a blink of an eye.
And that’s exactly what The Japanese House was going for, cause according to Bains, Clean is a genuine apology to a friend. It’s about the purifying light a good person can shed on you once they forgive you. Wash your hands, and wash your mind… or basically recover optimism by feeling less guilty.
The second song off the album is definitely the most upbeat of the bunch. Cool Blue is all about the mix of soft electronica and old nostalgic electric guitar play. The sound, comparable to old school Tears for Fears track Everybody Wants to Rule the World has a blissful, effortless vibe to it, which makes it without a doubt an enjoyable, timeless track. On repeat, please!
Simmered down at the beginning Letter By The Water soon blossoms into a wonderful & rich multi-layered electric vocal / guitar experience. And it’s all about love and heartache, of course. Cause let’s be honest, lines like “Sunlit hue to keep my body warm” or “There’s a stain in the heart of me” can’t possibly leave a soul untouched, can they?
Unlike the other tracks, the lyrics of Sugar Pill are more engaging, more intimate and personal. The last song on the album deals with being lost and coping with disappointments in life in a very real, almost helpless way. Absolutely stunning is also the music that goes with it. Although the swirls of vocoders seem to overpower the song, Bain still manages to balance out the track with her bubble-pop pulses and reverberating guitars.
Whoever is interested in a live performance, alongside support slots with The 1975, will just have to be patient (or rob your piggy bank & fly to the U.K), cause the band isn’t touring in Australia just yet.
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