There's a small but revealing detail you might notice while scrolling through the comments section of YouTube videos from The Japanese House, a beguilingly genre-defying indie pop collective fronted by U.K.-born singer-songwriter Amber Bain. Lots of the group's listeners seem to be there incidentally, either having clicked on an algorithmically recommended video, or been told to check out the group by someone in the know. Or maybe they were just intrigued enough to listen on the basis of the group's esoteric name, one that harks back to her childhood and a cottage in the south of England where she once stayed with her parents while on holiday. The property was designed in the style of a Japanese tea house and at one time belonged to Kate Winslet -- and it's also there that a young Amber once dressed up as a boy, decided to call herself Danny and won the affection of a girl who lived nearby.
Newcomers may not know what they're in store for with a band name like The Japanese House, but Bain is perfectly content to be found in roundabout ways by fans. It's an approach that's working out pretty well, because 2019 has been a massive year for The Japanese House. The group released its debut album Good At Falling earlier this year, plus a 4-song EP The LA Sessions in August. Meanwhile, the writing for album number two has already begun --- and along the way, the group has been dropping plenty of standalone tracks like "Chewing Cotton Wool," a new song released just before Thanksgiving. Taylor Swift is a fan; she included the track "Follow My Girl" from Good at Falling on her recent Apple Music playlist. Bain and the group have toured the U.S. three times over the past year or so, and a run of U.K. dates is planned for the middle of December starting in Glasgow.