The Japanese House returns in dazzling style with ‘Saw You In A Dream’

With a new track in tow, it’s only right we caught up with Amber about life on the road, fresh music and that incoming Beyonce covers album....
Can everyone just take a moment, because The Japanese House is back, and back with an absolute gem in new number ‘Saw You In A Dream’

Shimmering with carefree abandon, ‘Saw You In A Dream’ builds on the mesmerising foundations of previous EP ‘Swim Against The Tide’ and takes it up a whole ‘nother level. Glossed in that unmistakable Japanese House sheen, it’s the moment where Amber Bain confirms just how massive things are about to get – with an ability to gloriously sum up emotion in a three and a half minute slice of perfection.

So, as you can imagine, we’re head over heels.

‘Saw You In A Dream’ is also the name given to the newly announced fourth EP from The Japanese House, primed to land on June 16th and destined to be yet another jaw-dropping collection we’ll be playing over and over. Complete with a huge UK headline run kicking off on May 9th that includes a big night at London’s KOKO on May 17th, along with a summer full of festival appearances around the globe – The Japanese House is set on making 2017 hers.

With all those exciting bits going on, we decided to drop Amber a line to get the full scoop on her year so far, ‘Saw You In A Dream’ and generally how things are going (we’re nice like that). Just a few hours before the start of her largest European tour to date in Norway, in the midst of trying to smoke a roll-up in the cold and battling a whole heap of snow – it’s exciting times for The Japanese House.

Hey Amber! It’s been a while since we last caught up, how’s things?

Hey! It’s been really good, like I’ve been doing a lot of touring recently and the last few tours in particular have felt quite different, especially the last one in America. There’s been lot of dates but I’m not bored of it at all, and now I’ve got a new band that I’m playing with too… actually, tonight is the first show we’re all playing together which I’m really excited about! They’re all such fucking legends and great musicians too so I think it’s really adding another element to it all.

But yeah, things have been going well I think – I dunno, it’s hard to tell because I’ve stopped reading all the comments and shit like that. Sometimes I’ll type into Twitter ‘Amber Bain Shit’ or ‘Japanese House Shit’ just looking for some mean tweets, but I haven’t seen any so far. I’m sure they’re out there somewhere!

It looks like you’ve been having a brilliant time out in the States, playing all those headline shows and SXSW too – what’ve been the standout shows?

Ahhh, yeah there’s been quite a few over the past few months, like we did this show in Chicago which was cool because we’d never played there before and the show we did was in a 900/850 people capacity place that was sold out, so that was a bit like ‘Woah’. So many people were there and it was such a fun show.

There was New York at The Bowery, which I really like as venue and then I guess Atlanta too which was right after South-By and… actually South-By was quite an intense experience playing quite a few shows. It’s quite weird because it’s a bit industry and there’s so many shows each day, but the last show we played was really nice. The sun was shining and there were loads of fans there singing along rather than just industry people staring at you.

But yeah, the show we did after South-By in Atlanta was really good, we went a bit wild and the crowd did too so it was really fun. I guess that’s the main thing about the year so far, something just clicked on that tour which means I ‘get’ what to do live now whereas before it was a bit like ‘oh, what do I do’. Doing it so many times now has meant I’ve lost all those nerves and that bullshit, before I’d be looking at the floor the whole time but now I’m really having fun with it.

Blimey, after all those dates you must be looking forward to those upcoming shows back over in the UK?

Definitely, I haven’t played in the UK since those amazing shows supporting The 1975 in December, which was just amazing – but KOKO in May is going to be a cool feeling because it’ll be like ‘Fuck, this is all for me…. ALL FOR MEEE’

Just so happens of course, that there’s some new music about with ‘Saw You In A Dream’ (which is blooming great by the way), how did the track all come together?

Ahh thanks! Yeah, it all came together quite recently actually. I had a verse that I was playing around for a bit and then I decided to not force myself to finish it – so a few months later I sat down and was like ‘right, I’ve got this’ and finished it in a day.

The track feels really natural and open!

Definitely, it’s probably one of the most natural songs or naturally written songs that I’ve ever done. I didn’t need to change anything, I just got it all done and sung the melody and that was it. I didn’t change anything else about it, which is quite rare because usually I look through the lyrics and think ‘Urgh that makes me sound like a dicckkk’ or that it just doesn’t make any sense

It’s quite a blatant and honest song and I guess quite revealing, and I think that’s probably why it was quite easy because it was stuff I purposely hadn’t been writing about or obviously writing about. So as soon as I started writing about it, it all kinda splurged out.

Ahh, do you think that the confidence picked up from the previous EPs and playing live helped feed into that, so you felt comfortable to write about things you previously wouldn’t of talked about?

I think so. I never usually sit down and say I’m going to write a song about a certain topic, I usually just hear random words and by the end of it I realise that actually it’s probably quite a big reflection of my subconscious. With this one I decided to specifically write about something, and I guess it’s a really personal song but now I’ve got to a stage that I don’t really care about writing something like that.

I connect with it more, myself, because I know exactly what I mean, and sometimes I don’t really know what I mean, sometimes I just think “what the fuck am I on about?”. I sometimes assign meanings to things afterwards, but with this one it’s pretty fucking obvious that it’s about the loss of someone and that’s pretty clear.

But I think it’s a progression, I’m not sure what everyone else will think but I think it is.

Of course ‘Saw You In A Dream’ also marks a new EP on the horizon in June, is the first track a good reflection of what’s to come from that?

Ermm, I think the other songs are quite different – there’s quite a lot of different styles of writing going on there. It goes from slow mellow numbers (I know, that’s not like me!), to more groovy numbers with one featuring kinda hip-hop drums – I mean it’s not actually hip-hop, more of a Japanese House hip-hop if that’s even a thing?

It was really inspired by Beyonce’s latest album. I doubt you’ll be able to hear them though, all those Beyonce references that are secretly slotted in there that only I’ll probably hear!

So this must be the start of The Japanese House hip-hop album right?

Oh yeah, my album is basically going to be ‘Lemonade’ – I’d be happy with that. Just a cover of the whole album from start to finish hahaha!

The Japanese House is set to head around the UK on a headline run that calls into:


09 OXFORD Academy 2

10 EDINBURGH Liquid Rooms


12 LEICESTER Academy 2

13 BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute 3

15 NEWCASTLE Think Tank

16 NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms


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