Shu aroaro album cover
Shu aroaro

Yuko Ikema

2015
Majikick Records

Part of a (relatively) new wave of psych-folk artists from Japan, Yuko Ikema’s songs are clear, ringing things, direct and unpretentious. As is often the case with such music from Japan, there’s a shadow of bossa nova in the deceptive simplicity of the writing, but most obvious here is the tenderness of the playing; Ikema’s approach to the guitar skips between light strums and jazz-like finger picking, either of which make for a beautiful bed for Ikema’s unforced, unadorned voice. Saya and Ueno of Tenniscoats both appear, briefly, and Ueno recorded this, Ikema’s debut album – she’d go on to release an EP on their label, Majikick, before a string of further self-released albums, all lovely.

Jon Dale

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