Ichiko Aoba

"Space Orphans"

Contact Ahmad Asani about Ichiko Aoba

Today, Japanese virtuoso Ichiko Aoba presents her new single, “Space Orphans.” The song was originally shared as a sparse acoustic demo last March in response to the conflict in Ukraine. Now featuring new arrangements performed by Phonolite Strings that hang delicately around Aoba’s vocals, the official studio version of “Space Orphans” is a tender composition teeming with new life. Of “Space Orphans,” Aoba states: “This song is dedicated to all of you who are stuck in a war you never asked for. To all of you who are all alone in a place that seems safe. To all of the orphans who carry a lingering loneliness inside them. I hope this song reaches the child inside of you.”


Nature is a constant inspiration for Aoba with almost all of her music and visuals exploring her connection to the environment. In an effort to continue raising awareness around climate change, “Space Orphans” is one of the first songs to be released as part of Brian Eno’s pioneering EarthPercent initiative “The Earth As Your Co-writer” which features the Earth itself as a credited songwriter. Proceeds from the song will be donated in perpetuity to EarthPercent, an organization which aims to unite the music industry in fighting climate change. Other artists releasing music through this groundbreaking initiative include Anna Calvi, Rostam Batmanglij, AURORA, Jacob Collier, Mount Kimbie, and Brian Eno himself.


Aoba is a multi-instrumentalist whose sound incorporates folk, jazz, and classical music. Since releasing her debut album at age 19 in 2010, Aoba has slowly garnered a devoted following around the world. She has collaborated with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono, Cornelius, Mac DeMarco, Black Country, New Road, Owen Pallet, and composed soundtracks for various films and video games (her music was featured prominently in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening).


Her seventh album, 2020’s stunning Windswept Adan, was released via her own label hermine. The concept album is the soundtrack to an imaginary film about a girl who journeys from her home to the fantastical Adan Island. Praised by the likes of Pitchfork, The Needle Drop, and beyond, the album became a word of mouth breakthrough. Since being reissued via Ba Da Bing in 2021, Aoba has toured around the world and played numerous sold out shows in support of Windswept Adan.


Aoba is known for her arresting solo performances that are unassuming yet utterly transfixing. In March, Aoba released Ichiko Aoba with 12 Ensemble, a live album recorded at London’s Barbican Milton Court Concert Hall with The 12 Ensemble, one of Europe’s premier string collectives. Ichiko Aoba with 12 Ensemble offers a glimpse beyond her intimate solo shows which have become a cornerstone of her reputation.


This year,  Aoba continues her world tour. Following sold out shows at Los Angeles’ Regent Theater and a standout appearance at Knoxville’s Big Ears Festival, Aoba will play Australia for the first time ever in June. This fall, Aoba will support Japanese Breakfast at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Radio City Music Hall, as well as Weyes Blood at Pitchfork Festival Paris. All dates are listed below with more to be announced. Tickets are on sale now.