Review: “Good at Falling” By The Japanese House


Claire Bruder, Music Reviewer

This year has been extremely influential for music with the release of numerous astounding albums, including “Good at Falling” by The Japanese House. Written by English singer-songwriter Amber Bain, the 13 songs that make up the record convey Bain’s story of love and heartbreak, leaving the listener feel as if they too endured her pain.

Starting her career at the young age of 19, Bain never pictured herself telling her story to the world. In fact, her rise to fame was somewhat of an accident. After the release of her first EP “Pools to Bathe in” in 2015, she caught the attention of Matthew Healy, the lead singer of The 1975. Strangely enough, Bain’s best friend Gemma Janes was in a relationship with Healy at the time, so the two bands instantly grew close. When The 1975 decided to plan their first tour for their self-titled album, they invited The Japanese House to open for them.

Around the same time that Janes introduced Bain to The 1975, she introduced Bain and now ex-girlfriend, Marika Hackman. Bain immediately fell for Hackman, and shortly after they met she began to write songs about their relationship.

Although the two have broken up, Bain has released her first album about their heartbreakingly beautiful journey — leaving her fans in awe.

Looking at the first track on the album titled “Went to meet her (intro),” Bain explains that this song in particular came about after a night of experiencing with hallucinogens with friend and producer BJ Burton. The morning after producing the song, the two ended up forgetting they had even written it as a result of the drugs they had taken  (Disclaimer: I do not condone experimenting with drugs). Months later, Burton stumbled across the file, and the song ended up as the intro to Bain’s album. With the use of sporadic drum fills and a dream-like voice in the beginning, the song instantly captivates the audience, but shifts to a slower dynamic near the end. Because of its unique composure and shift of emotions, the song perfectly draws listeners into the rest of the album.

Following the introduction are songs “Maybe You’re the Reason,” “We Talk all the Time,” “Follow My Girl” and “Wild,” which flow seamlessly together and dive deeper into the emotion that Bain felt throughout her relationship. While Bain mentions love and loss in all of her lyrics, the upbeat production that she incorporates within each song exemplifies her strong, optimistic personality. She strives to mold her dark emotions into something that is not only incredibly beautiful but also gives the majority of her audience something in which they can relate.

While it is hard to pick favorite songs off of this album, the ones that stand out the most are “Lilo” and “We Talk all the Time.”

“Lilo,” a word that means floatie in the UK, depicts the true devastation that Bain felt post-breakup. In addition to allowing Bain to speak of her in her lyrics, Hackman shockingly offered to be in the “Lilo” music video. In the video, one can see various shots of Bain and Hackman together, including brushing their teeth together and embracing in front of a fire. Bain explains that while the music video was fun to create, she finds it difficult to relive those moments.

While it is not as much of a story as “Lilo,” “We Talk all The Time” is more of an upbeat tune. Within the lyrics, Bain says that although she and Hackman are no longer together, they still speak to each other every day. This sort of healthy, platonic relationship post-breakup is rarely seen in the world of celebrities, so to hear that they are still friends is refreshing.

Ultimately, people worldwide are calling “Good at Falling” by The Japanese House the album of the year. From the upbeat production to the meaning behind the lyrics, this album truly captivates its audience.

In case music enthusists want to listen, “Good at Falling” is now streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.