THE JAPANESE HOUSE
The Wardrobe, Leeds // Friday, November 4, 2016
It’s been just over a year since Amber Bain, known to her many, many fans as THE JAPANESE HOUSE, played her first show in Leeds at a packed-out Oporto.
Passers-by would have had a better view of the singer and her band than most squished into the small room, so was the draw of the enigmatic singer and her two EPs of mesmerising material.
Tonight at the Wardrobe – a venue twice the size of Oporto – she’s back armed with more beautiful, ambient electro-pop, one moment delicate, serene and soothing, the next, bubbling with playful synths, effect-laden vocals and pumping percussion.
We’ve only been treated to a couple of new Japanese House tunes in these last 12 months – Face Like Thunder (which is definitely one of tonight’s highlights) and Good Side In, taken from her upcoming third EP Swim Against The Tide.
All four tunes from the EP, out next Friday on Dirty Hit, are aired tonight, revealing a progression in style. The meandering melodies and spacial sounds feel more urgent and lively, the experimental, abstract vibes are more poppy and precise.
Bain’s on-stage presence is akin to the delicate, disparate delivery of her flawless, twisting sounds, bouncing around the stage to snapping beats and burgeoning riffs one minute, hiding behind her hair regaling mournful tales of abandonment and unrequited love the next.
Tonight’s show is intimate and absorbing, a celebration of an artist who has been allowed to develop over time. Having worked with George Daniels and Matty Healy of label mates The 1975 over the course of the last year, we can’t wait for her debut album to drop next year. And then for another tour, hitting much bigger venues next time.