Ichiko Aoba's greatest strength is her ability to create pockets of intimacy. The Japanese singer-songwriter's breathy vocals and placid guitar playing, often the only sounds you'd hear on her records, create a hypnotizing shroud that makes you feel like she's performing for you alone. Aoba has been building a following in Japan since her 2010 debut Kamisori Otome--released when she was only 19 years old--but 2018's qp was Aoba's first small breakthrough; it connected her with listeners abroad and cracked Rate Your Music's top rated albums of the year.
Ichiko Aoba and the winds of change
Today we will talk about Ichiko Aoba's new album Adan no Kaze, a.k.a. Windswept Adan. Okay. There is a lot to unpack here, whether for returning listeners excited and/or sceptical over her biggest change of sound in years (perhaps ever), or for a potentially equal number of people who had barely heard of her prior to this record.