Live Review: The Japanese House - Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver 09/05/2019


The Japanese House stopped in at Vancouver’s Fortune Sound Club to play a sold out show and very intimate show in support of her debut album Good At Falling. 

The brainchild of Amber Bain, The Japanese House has become a staple of any indie-pop lovers playlist, as her androgynous voice and instrumentation guide you through almost every emotion and feeling. With such heavy production on her studio recordings it can be difficult to imagine how she would translate these complex songs into a live setting, but she certainly manages to do it, and very effectively as her full band backs her up on stage. It’s a departure from her early days when she held the stage alone, with just a keyboard to keep her company and build her show upon. Now she’s free to move around, having a guitar in her hands instead, but to also interpret her own sound in different ways.

It’s hard not to watch in awe as she sings her way through a beautifully curated setlist, starting with her one of her most well known singles, Face like Thunder. This also acts as a nice mirror, as the track is likely one of the first songs of hers that many fans heard and fell in love with her to. As Bain plays through the setlist, she carefully balances new and old tracks, and features a literal new/old mashup of Sisters/Everybody Hates Me. Though she spends a few moments between songs chatting with the crowd pushed up against the stage, the night gets right down to business, as the set is 17 songs long. It’s interesting to hear how The Japanese House songs, especially the older ones (Cool Blue, Saw You In A Dream), translate into a live setting - they’re brought back down to earth in a way, without losing the dreamlike qualities that Bain manages to pour into every song.

The Japanese House is definitely an act you should see live at least twice in your life, and luckily enough the Good At Falling tour is truly a global affair. Right through until September Bain will be playing throughout the US, the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia, so there’s a high chance that she’ll be playing a show near you. 

Words and photos by Kelli Anne