Artist spotlight: Ichiko Aoba

A couple of weeks ago I came across this Japanese songwriter that, according to a quick google, released her first album in 2010, aged only 19. Her stuff is the closest thing to musical ASMR regarding the way it affects my brain. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by this world (which happens often), or I want to believe in beauty beyond what I can perceive, I put on my headphones and listen to Ichiko Aoba’s gorgeous music.

Check some of her stuff out:

You can quickly figure out the lyrics to her songs by googling the title in Japanese plus “english lyrics”. For example, these are the lyrics for the song above:

Spring, which the two of us waited so long for.
Let’s walk where the gentle breeze takes us.
Let’s give flowers we’ve never seen before
Whatever names we want.

Summer, when you were born.
Let’s talk beneath the trees, sunlight streaming down.
Let’s adorn your soft hair
With the light prancing the water’s edge.

Spring, summer, fall, winter.
How many more
Of these dates that come and go
Will I get to count?

All the dates
That are yet to come
Exist so I can offer them
To you.

Fall, when the two of us met.
Let’s walk, dragging long shadows behind us.
Let’s kiss like we did back then
On that hilly road at twilight.

Winter’s here for a second time.
Let’s quietly listen in
On chilly, foggy nights.
Let’s fall asleep keeping each other warm.

Spring, summer, fall, winter.
How many more
Of these seasons that come and go
Will we reach?

Stay here next to me.
Stay here forever
Until that one day
When the end,
A blink, comes.

My current favorite song of hers is the following one, which is twelve minutes long:

Never ever forget, I never ever will.
Here in this town, which is just a bunch
Of cold, uneven rocks next to each other,
The dim sun is shining ever so lightly on me.

Famous but nameless, unable to do a single thing
And scorned by everyone in town, I lived all alone.

If I were one of those people who’ve forgotten the morning light,
I would do nothing but look up at the sky.
I’m a sham.
I’m a fool.
I’m a laughingstock.
I’m an outcast.

We’ve spent so much time in darkness,
And time has been so dark,
That people have even forgotten that dawn eventually does come.
We’ve stopped voicing our complaints
And talking about our dreams with each other,
But you and you alone,
You’re the only one in the whole town
Who’s never forgotten the light, who smiles at me.

Ah, you’re so precious,
You and your adorable smile.
You lit up the darkness of my heart
And warmed me up.

I wouldn’t need anything else
If I had you here at my side,
If I could just hold you tight.

You precious thing, you.

Let me show you something nice.
I can’t do anything,
But I used everything I had to put together something.

A clockwork universe.

Keep it a secret from everyone, keep it a secret from everyone.

It’s…
Mercurius, Venus, Earth, Mars, Iupiter,
Saturnus, Uranos, Neptunus

Hidden in the dim light of this gloomy little room, you see?

Mercurius, Venus, Earth, Mars, Iupiter,
Saturnus, Uranos, Neptunus.

A sturdy steel frame and elaborate gears and an artistic depiction of the stars.
Keep it a secret from everyone, it’ll be our secret.

The clockwork universe keeps turning and turning.
Slowly, quietly.
I used to wish that every day would be like this.
Without you all I did was cry, an empty shell.
The universe rusted together, the stars lost their dreams,
And now all I do is look down.

Mercurius, Venus, Earth, Mars, Iupiter,
Saturnus, Uranos, Neptunus.
Mercurius, Venus, Earth, Mars, Iupiter,
Saturnus, Uranos, Neptunus.

Mercurius, Venus, Earth, Mars, Iupiter,
Saturnus, Uranos, Neptunus.
Mercurius, Venus, Earth, Mars, Iupiter,
Saturnus, Uranos, Neptunus.

The clockwork universe keeps turning and turning.
Slowly, quietly.
I used to wish that every day would be like this.

I’ll never ever forget, don’t you ever forget.
Here in this town, which is just a bunch
Of cold, uneven rocks next to each other,
The dim sun is shining
Ever so lightly on me.

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