There are few things quite as personal as heartbreak. The rupture of a bond between two people is almost impossible to comprehend from the outside – the tiny moments of intimacy that make up a romantic relationship are often hidden to everyone but those involved. Your mates might tell you you’re “better off”, and endless Tinder swiping might serve a purpose, but it’s those details that stick – those quiet moments, away from probing eyes, are the ones that linger through seemingly endless pep talks and rom-com binge sessions.
In her new video for ‘Lilo’, The Japanese House’s Amber Bain opens up those intimate details of her heartbreak in a way few could ever manage.
The clip stars Bain’s real-life ex-girlfriend, Marika Hackman, in the central role. “I asked Marika to be in the video because I couldn’t think who better to be in it than the person the song is about,” Bain told The Fader. The track ‘Lilo’ is an ode to their pair’s past relationship. Bain explained in a recent Instagram post that it was written while their relationship was in a dip, and finished when they eventually called it quits; the video takes on a new poignancy with every drop of context.
More dramatic shots of burning cars and huge, empty landscapes are paired with closer-cut imagery of those lingering moments – a piggy-back on a countryside walk; a kiss in a shared shower; watching a film together in the bath; the pair brushing each other’s teeth. Given the shroud of mystery that The Japanese House first presented herself in back in 2015, it’s a jarringly intimate change of pace for Bain.
Above all, ‘Lilo”s video is a testament to the loneliness of heartbreak, and the impossible task of comprehending someone else’s. Luckily for Bain and Hackman, they remain fast friends, lending the clip’s casting a note of positivity amongst all the doom, gloom, and tear-jerking sentiment. “When I watch this video myself my heart breaks, but in kind of a nice way,” said Bain to The Fader. As ‘Lilo’ draws to a close, Bain lying alone in the centre of a lake as her spare pillow floats away, you’re right there with her.