Serenity and composure are just one pluck of a guitar string away.
A minimal live performance of staggering proportions, Ichiko Aoba offers a very special gift from afar, an antidote to treat and heal our sickened minds in a time of quarantine. The only ingredients of this therapeutic remedy: delicate strings of an acoustic guitar and the heavenly voice of an angel. It's authentic foreign folk tunes stripped to its bare essentials, though what you get out of it emotionally is far more indicative of the music's immense power and character.
In our last journey with Ichiko Aoba, the corrupted mind found peace, innocence and solitude resting in an endless open field blooming of pretty flowers, the feeling of hovering in the air untroubled also sensed. Now, the mind wanders away from this dream-like utopia and finds itself in a confined space, a dark chamber where anxieties rush back to memory, trapped and oppressed by our closed surroundings. Yet, we make the best of our situation, make good use of the empty space to reinstate calm and serenity once again. In this Sogestu Hall "gift" record, Ichiko Aoba is the dim light in a dark chamber whose mighty performance overpowers the vast empty space of her enclosed surroundings.
Just 9 seconds in, such power and force can be felt and heard in the sparse, spacious recording. Ichiko's vocals tend to naturally echo or reverberate throughout, allowing the raw voice to flutter around, burst or strike powerfully like a sudden rush of gorgeous shooting stars. Delivering on aesthetic tropes which played key role in her mellow studio efforts, this live album is abundant of beautifully plain, ethereal acoustic melodies with a hint of melancholy and distress. A particular moment of pure astonishment for me comes at around the 7:30 mark, where Ichiko Aoba's vocals become so overpowering and elegantly piercing, they mimick the noise of crying wolf howls, yet so fragile as if a gentle tap on the shoulder is enough for everything to fall apart.
A virtually seamless 80 minute journey which comes to life, one could easily get lost in its simple, but immense atmosphere. An enchanting experience best felt through one sitting, ignoring individual tracks and letting the music truly empower the ears.
"Music for the coming days of Animal Crossing and Vitamin D pills." -KinoTheBabe, RYM user
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