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  • The Japanese House Performs at NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

  • British alt-pop singer-songwriter Amber Bain, aka The Japanese House appeared on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert to perform “Sunshine Baby”, “Baby Goes Again”, “Over There”, and “Boyhood”.

    This marks her musical guest debut on Tiny Desk Concert.
    Four songs are featured on her sophomore album “In the End It Always Does”, which was released last June via Dirty Hit.
    The album is her first body of work in four years. Amber Bain created the album with the help of Matty Healy and George Daniel from The 1975, Katie Gavin of Muna and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, amongst others.
    The Japanese House will support The 1975's “Still... At Their Very Best” tour in the UK in February. After the tour, she will appear on Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 12, 2024.
    Learn more about tour dates, here.
  • The Japanese House told Apple Music about each song.
    “Sunshine Baby” was written by Amber Bain, George Daniel, and Chloe Kraemer. Produced by The Japanese House.
    “I would call my ex and my dog my 'sunshine babies.' My dog is obsessed with the sun, and me and my ex are the same - probably some of the best moments of our relationship were just lying on the beach in Margate. The song started as an attempt to find a way to stop fighting, but at the end it became sort of a resignation about the relationship ending. That speaks to what the whole album is about. Do you resign to being in something that you're not completely happy with, or do you resign to it ending? And which one's worse? There's relief in giving up. And you can hear that in the music - there's catharsis in the outro, the sax, and lying back on a beach in the sand looking up at the sun like, 'OK, fine.'”

  • “Baby goes again” was written by Amber Bain. Produced by The Japanese House, George Daniel, and Chloe Kraemer.
    “This is inspired by Fleetwood Mac's 'Honey Hi' or 'Tusk.' I think it's about the feeling like you're always on the cusp of fixing everything. Then I'd often feel like I'd just go and fuck everything up, or one of us would. Just when you're starting to feel great again, someone's done something stupid. There's the lyric in there, 'I keep circling/You can't stop a circle, but I keep coming back around, at least I can't keep coming back around.' That again links to the title and the album art so clearly. It was: 'I'm aware that I keep repeating myself and making the same mistakes, but at least I keep coming back around.' I was wondering if that can be enough. And it wasn't. But I think the song was the last glimpse of hope for my relationship in a lot of ways.”

    “Over There” was written by Amber Bain, Phil Cook, and Justin Vernon. Produced by The Japanese House and George Daniel.
    “This is about when I was living in a throuple and one of them left. Then, in lockdown, she'd found another partner and ended up going to live with them. I felt really sad about that. The song is talking about how something beautiful so nearly happened, and how that feels such a loss when it doesn't. My favorite line in it is, 'She keeps her coat on/There's not a lot to go on/She used to dote on me.' It's that feeling that you used to be so close to someone and now they don't even take their coat off when they come round because they know they're about to leave. That feeling - it's like someone's punching your chest. Musically, I was in a bit of a rut and [US producer] BJ Burton sent me something that he and [Bon Iver's] Justin Vernon had been working on. I started writing over the little loop he sent me - luckily they said I could keep using the chords, because that would have really thrown a spanner in the works!”

    “Boyhood” was written by Amber Bain, Chloe Kraemer, and Jessica Miller. Produced by The Japanese House, George Daniel, and Chloe Kraemer.
    “I wasn't in a particularly good place when I wrote the early version of this song. I was thinking about trauma and things that happen to you in your life—how you become the summation of those things and how that feels unfair in a way. I was also thinking about gender in terms of me not having had a boyhood. The word 'girlhood' doesn't really even exist. I was thinking about how different it would be had I had a boyhood because a lot of the time I felt like I was a boy and would dress as a boy, asked to be called a boy's name. It's taken me a long time to accept certain aspects of my gender. In some ways, it's about embracing the things that have happened to you and about letting go of others in order to become someone that you feel you are intrinsically. The demo was really electronic, then we experimented with stripping everything back and it becoming a completely acoustic organic song. We watched this video of a gay dance group dancing in cowboy hats and boots in front of the White House—I think it's in the early noughties at Pride—and it's exactly the same BPM as 'Boyhood.' We wanted to encapsulate a definite cowboy twang but also [have] a campness to it. It's a dance song in a weird way - just a stripped-back, acoustic dance song.”
  • source : NPR
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