You’re driving towards the ocean. The windows are down, allowing the warm breeze to swirl around in the car. You reach the beach just as the sun splashes into the water, leaving behind a sky of glowing embers. You park and take your hands off of the steering wheel, but the vehicle continues onto the sand. A sound of shifting metal, and the car splashes into the ocean. As you journey deeper, you look out the windows and see bright lights everywhere . . .
A full-length runtime isn’t necessarily required in order to convey a significant creative statement. In fact, it can be accomplished within a quarter of that amount, as this artist has shown. Short, sweet, and anything but simple, Clean is the newest release from UK artist Amber Bain, AKA The Japanese House. Bain has steadily built a hefty following on SoundCloud with a stream of singles, but this record offers a complete artistic vision.
A delightfully unpredictable element of malleability permeates through these aqueous compositions, as if the song structures themselves were breathing with vibrant life. Foggy swirls of synthesizers, guitars, samplers, and vocoders weave together over polyrhythm grooves, creating watery worlds that expand and contract with organic beauty. Bain adorns the instrumentation with glistening, cascading vocal harmonies.
Every inch of sonic space is teeming with refreshing, compelling ideas that are as inventive as they are euphonious, and everything is blanketed in an atmosphere of warm comfort. Bain has set the bar high with this one, and the release of a full-length by The Japanese House now resides near the top of my Most Anticipated list. If you’re seeking aqueous cascades of soulfully melodic songwriting, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)