Artists You Should Know: The Japanese House Returns With Another Ethereal Pop Single In “Boyhood”

The Japanese House
The Japanese House by Max Barnett

The Japanese House has shared their first new single in three years, ending the drought with a track awash in luxuriantly anthemic electronica with the release of “Boyhood.” If this is your first time hearing the project of British singer/songwriter Amber Bain the first thing that probably hits you is the rather tangible atmosphere created by their often downtempo indie-pop creations (they’ve described their music in the past as “a modern day, more depressing ABBA.”)


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Scintillating and pensive bordering melancholic, they started making waves with the release of their debut EP Pools To Bathe In — four seminal songs that revealed the wealth of emotional nuance to be found in The Japanese House’s hybrid soundscapes. Then came two more landmark releases: a debut full-length album Good at Falling, which gave new immensity to their dreamy and cathedral-sized sonics while also underlining their visceral honesty; and another EP in the form of Chewing Cotton Wool, which saw her strip away some of the effervescence in favor of pointedly poignant ballads.

Their latest single sees Bain continuing to embrace the vivid openness of their debut amidst the crystalline atmosphere of “Boyhood,” a song that addresses gender/sexuality alongside the retention of childhood trauma. Against a particularly mesmeric beat and dreamy tangle of synth tones, they weave their silvery vocals into a soberingly hopeful anthem about forlorn regret and wanting to become someone new.


“I could have been somebody who / You wanted to have around to hold,” bain coos as the song starts to resemble more of a gallop than a reigned in rhythm. That’s no accident either given the song’s inspiration: “When Katie and I were young and in love, we fantasized about riding off into the distance on her horse Bam Bam, away from all the problems that came from being gay and in love back then,” Bain explained. But now they see it as less about running away from the past and more about running toward something unknown — but together still.

The music video for “Boyhood,” directed by Max Barnett, envisions this in a unique but no less dreamy way. As it sees Bain in a white-walled ethereal room staring up at a projection of a video that shows themselves and another riding through a field atop a horse. The swell of the music and its breezy energy synced beautifully with the touching images.

artist to watch in 2023

Visit The Japanese House on their website, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Words: Steven Ward

Watch the music video for “Boyhood” the new single from The Japanese House below!

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