Since releasing her debut album in 2010, at the age of 20, Japanese guitarist and songwriter Ichiko Aoba‘s reputation has steadily grown. With her last full-length, 2018’s qp, she attracted more attention in the West than ever, and that surge seems set to carry into her seventh album, which is called アダンの風 (Windswept Adan), and arrives on December 2.
The fact that she’s put herself on the album cover (seen above) and titled the lead single in English – “Porcelain” – gives an indication that she’s more ready than ever to court a larger, global audience. That’s borne out in listening to “Porcelain”, which still focuses around her graceful guitar playing and aerodynamically magnetic voice, but more than ever before features additional instrumentation, which sparkles and flourishes right from the off. With upright bass, flute, violins and much more (courtesy of composer/arranger Taro Umebayashi) all swirling around, “Porcelain” is a veritable audio garden bursting with life – and Aoba is the deity a the centre of it all, beautiful and benevolent, guiding us through it.
Listen to “Porcelain” below, or on your preferred streaming platform.