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It’s been nearly a decade since Bain’s break-out in 2015, back when The Japanese House was rumored to be everything from a Matty Healy side project to a mysterious unidentified figure shrouded in mystery and reverb. These days though, Bain’s sound and style is characteristically wide open, her vulnerabilities, thoughts and innermost feelings stitched into a tapestry of gorgeous, elevated pop music.
“I know I shouldn’t need it, but I want affection / I know I shouldn’t want it, but I need attention,” sings Amber Bain – AKA UK musician The Japanese House – on “Touching Yourself”, a sad and sexy pop-leaning earworm about desire and heartbreak. Much of the second album, In the End It Always Does, is contradictory like this: beginnings and endings, obsession and mundanity, falling in love and falling apart. It’s the perfect circular portrait of a relationship – with others, with herself, with an experience – hence the simple, circular album cover.
Written during a creative burst at the end of 2021, In the End It Always Does is primarily inspired by the events preceding it – including Bain’s first time moving to Margate, being in a throuple and the slow dissolution of those relationships. “[These two people] were together for six years and I met them and then we all fell in love at the same time – and then one of them left,” Bain’s remembers. “It was an inspiring start to a relationship. It was this high… And then suddenly I’m in this really domestic thing, and it’s not like there was other stuff going on – it was lockdown.”