As Amber Bain penned lyrics in her bedroom as a child in Buckinghamshire, England, she never thought she would tour the world as a musician.
Now the 23-year-old—known to the world as The Japanese House—is pushing her debut full-length album, “Good at Falling,” with live shows.
Although Bain has released a quartet of four-song EPs, she admits it’s a relief to release a full album. She’s writing a fifth EP on the road.
“If you think about it, I’ve actually released over an album’s worth of material,” Bain says. “I don’t feel like I’ve established myself as an artist in any way because I hadn’t actually released a full album. So, it’s a relief to get that done.
“Also, I guess there’’ a lot more pressure with an album because there’s more to be judged on. It’s more intense.”
Bain says she’s been pleasantly surprised by the feedback for the album from U.K. fans she met on tour. The singer is looking forward to the North American jaunt.
“I think touring America is genuinely my favorite place to tour,” Bain says. “If you tour the U.K.—I love it—but there’s not as much variation in the people you meet and the places that you’re going. It’s all kind of similar in a way. Whereas America, it’s pretty much different every day, but very different every day.”
Musically, Bain explored her feelings deeper with “Good at Falling.”
“I think it’s about relationships, and my relationship with myself,” Bain says. “I think sonically, I’d say the song that encapsulates the sound of the album most it ‘Follow My Girl,’ that’s the one I’d play first. And then lyrically, maybe ‘Everybody Hates Me’ because it’s quite strong and a depressing statement.”
“Good at Falling” is a study of her past relationships, her emotions and thoughts. The music video for “Follow My Girl” features Bain’s ex-girlfriend, making the song rawer and more impactful.
She often uses vocal layering and synthesizers to create her sound for The Japanese House. This doesn’t affect her on-stage style.
“We make it sound as much like the record as we can,” Bain says.
“Performing the song is more of a mental process, than a technical process because it’s more about me. When I was writing the songs, I wasn’t thinking about performing them, because when I’m writing songs, and not a performer, but producer and songwriter. So, it’s more about me sort of transitioning into a performer that’s more of the battle. And thinking about how I’m going to act when I’m doing them, rather than what I’m going to play.”
Performing wasn’t always easy for Bain, as she struggled with stage fright.
“I think I was really, really self-conscious,” says Bain, who toured with The 1975. “When I started performing, I think a large part of me didn’t really want to be someone who wanted attention from a crowd. I was very desperate to be someone who was aloof and withdrawn, or not withdrawn. Someone in the background.
“Now that’s not what I want to be and it’s actually not who I am. It’s about letting myself live out a part of myself. There’s still a lot of me that isn’t a natural performer, and it doesn’t come completely naturally to me. But I’ve realized that when it happens and when it feels right, I actually love it.”
Bain says she’s learned to enjoy performing and advises others to look inside themselves to conquer similar fears.
“I guess being comfortable is just learning to let go of the fear of looking stupid or the fear of being made fun of or not coming across as you’d want to,” Bain says. “It’s just about learning to be free.”
The Japanese House, w/Art School Girlfriend, Crescent Ballroom, 308 N. Second Avenue, Phoenix, crescentphx.com, 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, $18-$20.