I know I shouldn’t need it but I want affection / I know I shouldn’t want it but I need attention,” sings Amber Bain – AKA UK musician The Japanese House – on “Touching Yourself”, a sad and sexy pop-leaning earworm about desire and heartbreak. Much of second album In the End It Always Does is contradictory like this: beginnings and endings, obsession and mundanity, falling in love and falling apart. It’s the perfect circular portrait of a relationship – with others, with herself, with an experience – hence the simple, circular album cover. 

Written during a creative burst at the end of 2021, In the End It Always Does is primarily inspired by the events preceding it – including Bain’s first time moving to Margate, being in a throuple and the slow dissolution of those relationships. “[These two people] were together for six years and I met them and then we all fell in love at the same time – and then one of them left,” Bain’s remembers. “It was a ridiculously exciting start to a relationship. It was this high… And then suddenly I’m in this really domestic thing, and it’s not like there was other stuff going on – it was lockdown.”

The album came together just as that chapter in her life was falling apart, with each song almost acting as a snapshot in time. From the dizzying swell of album opener “Spot Dog” (a rework of the 101 Dalmatians theme, her exes favourite film) to the emotional gut punch of “Over There” (an ode to relinquishing the throuple) and the sugar-sweet pop hooks of “Sunshine Baby” (a bright, bittersweet acceptance of the end), so much of In the End It Always Does glitters and shimmers with the mixed feelings of finally letting go. “Love was never the issue. I never wasn’t in love,” says Bain. “But I realised I wasn’t in love with myself. We broke up when the album was done.”