The Japanese House — not to be confused with Japanese Wallpaper or Japanese Breakfast — is nowhere near new to my playlist having put out a steady stream of EP releases to keep listeners at bay since 2015. But Amber Bain seems in no rush to satiate her fans’ appetites with an LP.
Her most recent EP, “Saw You In A Dream,” is the fourth of her patterned four-track projects with the title track being perhaps the most pop-oriented song (next to “Face Like Thunder” from her third EP) in its simplistic production and noticeably more straight forward lyricism. While still far from a standard pop radio tune, “Saw You In A Dream” contains a danceable, bossa nova-like sway — something you wouldn’t expect from a song inspired by a dream about a deceased friend, although Bain leaves it open to interpretation as a general song about heartbreak.
While it took several days of the title track on repeat to move on (and dancing alone like this), my current favorite is the EP’s second track, “Somebody You Found.” The song’s apathetic narrative about being too self-absorbed to save a failing relationship is offset by the beachy guitar plucking and relaxed drum beats.
The line that hits the hardest lyrically, while still cloaked in carefree sonics, “Either way, I’m just another stone in the ground / I’m not someone that you come looking for / I’m just somebody you found” drives the indifference deeper. The verse confronts the idea of convenient love over true love, questioning how invested in the relationship either of them were in the first place.
Bain has mastered pairing melodious, meditative music with self-reflective lyrics. The next time you feel the need to do some soul searching, first search for the tunes of The Japanese House.