​10 things you need to know about the japanese house

Meet the musician responsible for the Imogen Heap-like vocoder harmonies currently weaving their way around your heart and soul.

by Francesca Dunn
29 October 2015, 12:03am

Born and raised in Buckinghamshire, The Japanese House aka 20 year old Amber Bain now lives in Camden but isn't quite sure why as she spends most of her time hanging about East London. Giving up on childhood dreams of being a politician, at age 11 Amber discovered that music was cool and settled on being a rock star instead. Her father taught her all the classics (AC/DC and Stairway To Heaven) on the acoustic guitar and her musical fate was secured. Very much part of the Dirty Hit Records family, she counts members of The 1975 as co-producers and is a regular on label mate Marika Hackman's instagram. Despite having already released the brilliant EP, Pools To Bathe In, and preparing to drop the second, Clean, Amber has only recently begun to perform her material live following a series of reportedly very fun, very loud rehearsals. "I'm sorry if I'm shouting… my ears are constantly ringing!" she tells us over coffee. She decides that her music sounds like "a sad little puppy listening to Beyoncé to cheer itself up" and we decide that it's no wonder Ryan Hemsworth wants to work with her. Get to know the girl soundtracking our waking hours and putting us to sleep at night… welcome to The Japanese House.

1. Amber wrote a song called Teenage Life when she was just 11.
"I started making up really bad songs with my band when I was young. We were called something like Rock It and had a song called Teenage Life despite the fact that we were only 11 at the time. We wanted to be like Busted or Avril Lavigne."

2. Her past musical project, Leon, sprung from an obsession with the film of the same name.
"I'd read that in the film Leon, Matilda was actually supposed to have sex with Leon, and I thought that was crazy and got a bit obsessed with it and wrote a song about it. The project came from that. I'm still working on the song but will probably change the name."

3. Kate Winslet lives in The Japanese House. And Amber Bain has some great stories.
"When I was about six or seven, I went on holiday to Devon with my parents and I pretended to be a boy for a week. I wore dungarees and my hair up under my backwards cap and called myself Danny because I'd been watching Greece a lot. And there was this girl next door and she was a year older than me and she told me that she had a crush on me and at the end of the week she wrote me a love letter and I told her that I was actually a girl called Amber and she didn't believe me. Anyway, basically I found out recently that we had actually stayed in Kate Winslet's house and it was called The Japanese House."

4. She's never been to Japan (Amber, not Kate… Kate's probably been).
"I wanna go though! I was scared people would think I make house music from Japan… maybe one day I'll get into the house game."

5. She has party tricks for days.
"I got an A in my politics A Level and I didn't even revise. And I'm actually really good at the worm. Every time I get really drunk I just do it. I used to do hip-hop dancing. I can crip walk too and pop and lock. I can twist my arm all the way around too."

6. Her dream day sounds dreamy.
"It would definitely involve a roast at The Royal Oak and I'd watch a lot of Happy Endings, which is like a better New Girl. I've already watched six episodes today. And I don't know if it's because I'm kinda hungover but I'm really into watching things, being cozy and eating."

7. Fleetwood Mac makes her cry.
"Maybe Hold Me by Fleetwood Mac, or if I was sad, Beautiful Child. I definitely cry every time I listen to that. It really gets me going."

8. She dreams big.
"I often have lucid dreams. I have a lot of weird sex dreams. I have a lot of dreams about dying, and they're always to do with car crashes. Being hit by a car or being in a car that crashes. And as I die in the dream I wake up in real life. The other day though, I had a dream that I was reading a book for hours, and I could see all of the writing. It's so weird that my brain could create whole stories for me to read."

9. Despite having named her first EP Pools To Bathe In, she's not such an expert…
"I went to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland and forgot to take a swimming costume but thought it might be a thing that everyone just went in naked. So I turned up and it was a proper spa with everyone in fluffy white towels and swimming costumes, and I had to go in just my pants. I think if I'd been with a friend they would've stopped me. They should've done."

10. She's never done karaoke, but if she did…
"I'd do Beyoncé. Or something from Grease. Or maybe Abba with the Spanish version of Waterloo… it's on their greatest hits album, I highly recommend it."



Text Francesca Dunn

The Japanese House
amber bain
music interviews