Review: The Japanese House – Chewing Cotton Wool EP

The Japanese House - Chewing Cotton Wool

Amber Bain, or better known as the band The Japanese House, is ready to bare her soul in order to get listeners to feel something. From the cover art of the Chewing Cotton Wool EP to the music, it all feels very symbolic. It’s almost as if Bain is saying, “This is me. This is the pound of flesh that you are getting, whether you wanted it or not.” It’s all a very powerful artistic statement for her to get this comfortable with herself in laying everything out there for the world to evaluate and unpack.

Bain has never been a stranger to releasing her music in the form of an EP to continue to engage her audience in her evolution as an artist. The Japanese House moniker released several EPs leading up to the proper full-length debut, Good at Falling. I first heard of The Japanese House through recommendations from friends mentioning this up and coming artist that incorporated synth elements into a unique rock, pop, and indie-styled songwriting package. I wasn’t expecting the Good at Falling record to end up being my favorite LP in 2019, and finding a new artist that I felt like was transcending the expectations of what a solo artist can accomplish. Chewing Cotton Wool is a short collection of four songs that continues Bain’s evolution as an artist willing to take risks to leave haunting stamps in our memory through her music.

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The Japanese House Interview With The Independent

The Japanese House

Alexandra Pollard, writing at The Independent:

“Most of the songs were written before the breakup, which is weird because it does sound like a breakup record,” says Bain, as we settle on the floor beneath the shade of a tree. “I’ve analysed them retrospectively, and it feels like they’re about a breakup, but at the time, I wasn’t thinking, ‘I wanna break up with Marika’. I guess I was breaking up with a portion of myself as well. And that’s really hard to do. A lot of like, issues that I had… I had loads of anger and lots of weird stuff, like drinking and drug taking.”

The new album came out last week and it gets my full recommendation. It’s damn good.