Album review: The Japanese House – Chewing cotton wool
As the first release since their critically acclaimed debut album Good to fall, The Japanese House (project by solo artist Amber Bain) once again wows.
Or Good to fall was his self-tagged breakup album, this EP masquerades as a mind-boggling portrayal of “getting out of a relationship and entering a new phase”.
Important for the creative process, the artwork of the EP is multi-faceted. A self-portrait of Amber with her arm resting on her bare chest is brandished on the blanket.
On her social media, Bain reflects on how “natural” it was to undress with only herself behind the camera when she usually feels self-conscious about her appearance and how she looks. his body. His thinking that this is very revealing of body censorship, especially queer bodies, was supported when Instagram withdrew the publication from its cover for “presumption of nudity”.
She “wonders how a ‘male’ body has to appear in order for a nipple to be shown.” This discussion can only add to the substance of the EP’s rich dialogue.
Lasting just a minute and fifty seconds, we want more of their dream-pop sound
Opening with the mystical electronic sounding number ‘Sharing Beds’, Amber chante’ know[ing]’a partner has sex with other people, leaving their head in a “fucking mess”. Just a minute and fifty seconds long, we crave their dream-pop sound even more as the album merges into the familiar single “Something Has to Change”.
Here, Bain’s repetitive lyricism depicts a vicious cycle in which “the same girl [is] giving [her] hell ‘; the re-visit of her grief lyrically mirroring the jarring experience Amber described. This is a situation where you-know-they-are-bad-for-you-but-you-can’t-help-go-back.
The most anticipated collaboration comes next as Justin Vernon (of the indie-folk group Good iver) sings with Bain on the perfectly produced track ‘Dionne’.
Lyrically, the song scrolls like an ode to post-breakup embarrassment, the idea that “looking back” at her lingering affection for her ex would bring so much self-loathing that she would feel like “killing herself.” ” afterwards.
Yet we are shown that, even over time, the memories of past lovers are still often unearthed.
Justin returns words of comfort in a sympathetic speech, advising Amber to “ignore them,” while the over-thinkers among us could all learn something from the reminder that “your past becomes your present if it’s still in. Your spirit”.
Yet, we are shown that, even over time, the memories of past lovers are still often unearthed. The title track “Chewing Cotton Wool” sees Amber declaring that although her ex-girlfriend is a memory to be “remembered”, she is still “everywhere” metaphorically.
Image courtesy of The Japanese House via Facebook. No changes made to this image.
Images and videos in the article courtesy of @thejapanesehouse via instagram.com. No modification made to these images.
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