The Japanese House bring new EP “Swim Against the Tide” to the alternative table


Photo credit/ Elizabeth Carlson

Kat Bischak, Asst. A&E Editor

The alternative/indie band The Japanese House released their third EP for listeners, entitled, “Swim Against the Tide” on Friday, Nov. 11. The EP was practically released a year after “Clean,” The Japanese House’s second EP.

The Japanese House had spent the year on tour with The 1975, an alternative/indie band who also share the same label of Dirty Hit Records. The tour seemed to pay off for The Japanese House, allowing them to expand their sounds and grab inspirations from their touring guest The 1975.

The new EP has four new songs for fans, which are entitled “Swim Against the Tide,” “Face Like Thunder,” “Good side in” and “Leon.”

The first song, “Swim Against the Tide” starts off with a cool, coastal introduction with steel drums and acoustics, which is something new for Amber Bain, lead singer and guitarist for the band. “Swim Against the Tide” speaks about the struggle of letting a loved one from the past go, and is easily one of the deepest songs Bain has ever created.

The second song off the new EP, “Face like Thunder,” is the first song off the EP that was released in mid-October, giving fans a new taste of what The Japanese House had in store for them. The song talks about a heartbroken Bain dealing with the struggles of a past relationship, tying itself in with the previous song, “Swim Against the Tide.”

The third and most received song on the EP is “Good side in,” which starts off with beautiful acoustics that have never been heard from Bain before. The song changes tremendously over its four minute duration, going from soft acoustics, to hard electronica, to alternative, back to slow acoustics.

“Leon” is the last song on the EP, written about the film Leon: The Professional, where the character Mathilda was set to have a relationship with Leon. Bain found herself immersed in this new idea, thus giving life to “Leon.” The song has a traditional sound of The Japanese House, allowing listeners to take comfort in the sounds the band first created.

This EP is second best to “Pools to Bathe In,” which was the first EP released by The Japanese House in 2015. Upon listening to “Swim Against the Tide,” I really enjoyed the fact that Bain’s vocals were not covered by so much autotune and distortions like her traditional songs.

I also am very glad that The Japanese House is not jumping into a full-length album just yet. It is clear that Bain is taking the right direction in finding her set sound through her EPs. I thoroughly believe that The Japanese House will have a long lasting career with a great-fitting sound.

If you are a fan of The 1975, I highly recommend you take a listen to The Japanese House. They have a similar sound of electronica and alternative beats, and you will not be disappointed. Aside from their albums, The Japanese House put on a fantastic show live, and Bain surely works around the in-studio distortions to give the audience a raw, real vocal experience.

Contact the writer: [email protected]