Exeter, Devon UK • Jun 14, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Music Single Review: The Japanese House – Chewing Cotton Wool

Single Review: The Japanese House – Chewing Cotton Wool

Joshua Fundafunda reviews the latest The Japanese House single
5 mins read
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Joshua Fundafunda reviews the latest The Japanese House single

In a word, this song is truly sombre. It sounds as though it comes from a position of powerlessness, as you watch someone you care for fall apart. Each line describes some feeling, memory, object, thought, dream, desire about a girl who is deeply cared for, but just out of our reach. Lines like “she’s the sound of your own voice”, “she’s a memory I recall”, or “she’s chewing cotton wool” paint a very distraught picture in my mind; it’s a hopeless acceptance, which gradually washes over you throughout the song.

Amber Bain’s singing is impeccable as usual. She shows complete control as she holds certain words longer for effect, strains her voice for emphasis, elevates to an intense peak, before quieting down almost to a whisper. Similarly, the instrumentation is very pulled back in support of Bain’s vocals, a welcome change; I feel in a few of her tracks she battles to stand out against more chaotic backing instrumentation. Nevertheless, here the muted guitar loop, faint synths, cold piano, and other sparse electronica effects all help create a nostalgic, and unattainable atmosphere. The track ends as faintly as it began, and doesn’t overstay its welcome either at just over 3 minutes.

Each line describes some feeling, memory, object, thought, dream, desire about a girl who is deeply cared for, but just out of our reach

Overall, I’m excited to hear what The Japanese House will tackle in the future. Her last project was major success in my eyes, and the most recent single before this one, “Something Has to Change”, while not my favourite, left me eager for more. My only hope is that she keeps her formula for storytelling fresh and innovative. Otherwise, if this track is a blueprint to go by, we have nothing but amazing music to look forward to.

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