In Europe, the name Ichiko Aoba might be a familiar one. In 2019 she was on tour through Europe and last year, she was one of the performers during the online event Japan Matsuri Presents and delivered an intimate show. 2020 marked the 10th anniversary for Ichiko Aoba as a singer-songwriter. She established her independent label hermine where she released two albums in 2020, a live album recording and a studio album, album number seven, titled アダンの風 (Adan no kaze, Windswept Adan).
Filled with 14 tracks that embrace the folk music, a territory that fits perfectly with the singer-songwriter, classical elements combined with an echoing chamber music sound. The musician knows exactly how to envelop the listener with her soothing voice that blends into the echoing space. It feels very big, yet also very small because Ichiko Aoba knows how to bring her voice very personal and up-close, which makes it breathtaking.
The tracks feel like they belong together in this order, as if they are stitched together to form one big solid whole. Knowing that the album was made with the concept of ‘soundtrack for fictional films’ in mind, the result of this whole makes a lot of sense and falls together like pieces of a puzzle. For this album, she has had a lot of support from various musicians, including pianist and arranger Taro Umebayashi who contributed compositions.
The album makes you feel you are being carried along by a personal story. It feels warm, but also has cold tones that shake you awake when you dream away on the music. Let yourself get carried away in the musical tale created by Ichiko Aoba.
The next step for the musician might be to create music for films. Considering her experience to take part in theatre productions and even having already provided music for the Nintendo Switch remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, the step to a full film should not be a big one at all.
04. 帆衣 (HORO)
05. Easter Lily
06. Parfum d’étoiles
07. 霧鳴島 (Kirinaki Shima)
08. Sagu Palmʼs Song
10. 血の風 (Chi no Kaze)
12. Dawn in the Adan
14. アダンの島の誕生祭 (Adan no Shima no Tanjyosai)
Want to experience the album for yourself? You can listen to it on major streaming services such as Spotify. More a fan of physical releases? The album is available via CD Japan (affiliate link). It is also possible to buy a digital album through Bandcamp. More information about this album can be found on the website of hermine.