Review: The Japanese House and Justin Vernon – ‘Dionne’


One of the best songs Justin Vernon has collaborated on this year (sorry Taylor)

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The Japanese House are known for their unique and dreamy sound. Signed to Dirty Hit and fronted by Amber Bain, they have one full album (Good at Falling (2019)) and multiple EPs under their belt. Their most recent single, ‘Dionne’, featuring Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, comes with the newly released EP Chewing Cotton Wool, and stands out for its gorgeous vocals and dream-like qualities.

As it opens, it’s very reminiscent of Bon Iver’s 22, A Million. Whether this is a coincidence or a direct influence from Justin Vernon himself, ‘Dionne’ could easily be one of the tracks on a Bon Iver LP. Bain’s voice suits this style perfectly, though, and she dominates the single with her layered vocals.

When Vernon’s distinctive voice joins to sing “Step on up”, the single becomes considerably more powerful. Moving from a dream-like state towards a more passionate admittance of feelings, so much emotion is conveyed in these lyrics.

The closing of ‘Dionne’ is where the power of the lyrics really steps in. As Vernon sings “You’re alone with this one / And they’re angry” and “Together with your problems, doll / With the lone levity”, Bain follows with a repeated “Wishing that someone would film the way I’m looking at you”, finalising this message of adoration. Vernon’s and Bain’s voices compliment each other perfectly, and this is definitely up there with one of Vernon’s best collaborations this year (sorry, Taylor).

The one flaw of ‘Dionne’ is its somewhat repetitive nature. Though the unique timbres flow gorgeously throughout, near the end the single lacks something. It would’ve been perfect to have included a sudden drop out of music, followed by the return of something more powerful, however this never came. Nonetheless, ‘Dionne’ is a simple yet lovely single which beautifully portrays feelings of love and adoration.

‘Dionne’ is available to listen to now via Dirty Hit.


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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Probably watching Gilmore Girls

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