CHAI — the beloved Japanese quartet of identical twins MANA (vocals/keys) and KANA (guitar), plus drummer YUNA and bassist/lyricist YUUKI — present their new single/video, “GAME,” from their forthcoming self-titled album out this Friday, September 22nd on Sub Pop. CHAI — unlike previous albums — was written on the road, with the band finding time to record in the days between shows at Grand Street in New York, Ometusco Sound Machine in Mexico City, and Stones Throw Studio in LA, where “GAME” was recorded. Working in studios with vast collections of gear allowed them to experiment with aesthetics as-yet-unheard on a CHAI album. Case in point, CHAI recorded “GAME” with the sole intention of writing something listeners would recognize as new wave, riding a house synth line and minimalist production.
“GAME” might be the perfect distillation of CHAI’s ethic, as it urges listeners to keep moving through this life with joy and passion. Following an empowering trail of singles — the “Barbie-ready” (The FADER) “NEO KAWAII, K?,” the “breezy, groovy” (Stereogum) “PARA PARA,” plus the “fun, catchy” (Cool Hunting) “WE THE FEMALE!” — “GAME” continues CHAI’s streak of immediate, uplifting music. The accompanying “GAME” video is a tongue-in-cheek, ‘80s-indebted romp, directed by Cameron Lew.
Of the video, Lew adds: “CHAI blends chaos and positivity in the best way, and so I wanted to create a video that showcases exactly that. And what better way, then to show them frantically delivering their music, movements, and mindset directly to their fans. It was such a fun experience directing this video, the way the girls are in sync with one another is insane. Not your ordinary delivery service: Come along as the girls hand over packages that will take their fans (and some skeptical patrons) on a musical journey.”
Of “GAME,” MANA adds: “Winning isn’t the goal, it’s the strategizing and challenge that matters♡ So it doesn’t matter if you lose. Take that loss and turn it into an even better strategy! Life’s a game! We made the video with our lovely friend Ginger Root♡ It’s fun and NEO KAWAII♡ As long as you’re living, you can play the game as many times as you want. Be honest to your heart, don’t take it too seriously, and live life.”
Unlike their acclaimed 2021 album WINK, this self-titled collection of songs finds CHAI returning to their roots, drawing inspiration from their Japanese cultural heritage and the music that raised them. Realizing that message applied to people outside of fans in Japan (who screamed in delight when MANA shouted “NEO KAWAII!” into the mic) made CHAI consider what other facets of their upbringing might resonate with audiences outside of their home country. Each CHAI album borrows aesthetic inspiration from specific musical movements, and on CHAI, the quartet wanted to make direct comparisons to city pop, a Tokyo-born sound popularized in the ‘70s and ‘80s. City pop was a Japanese take on Western lounge music, borrowing from jazz, boogie, funk, and yacht rock to create a sound that straddled two cultures; but for CHAI, city pop was just the music of childhood.
Of the album, Mana says: “This is CHAI! The genre is CHAI! CHAI’S BEST CHAI POP! We declare to live as Japanese women♡ If this album gives everyone a little more confidence in living how they want to live, that is the right answer we have been looking for⭐ Listen, feel. You were all NEO KAWAII BABIES from the moment you were born. If you can’t catch up with us, you’ll never feel the NEO KAWAII♡ Are you ready for CHAI?? ⭐”
This Saturday, CHAI will begin their North American tour at Flipside Festival, followed by stops in Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, DC and more. Full dates, including UK and EU shows, are listed below and tickets are on sale now.
Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering stars in this deliciously macabre and chilling new video for “Twin Flame,” directed by Ambar Navarro. In a dual role, Mering portrays a yearning soul wandering the empty halls of a dark castle after her mysterious husband has ridden off on horseback into the night. What does she find hidden amongst the castle walls? Is her spiritual nemesis, haunting her every move, trying to warn her?
“Twin Flame” is a standout from her acclaimed album And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, out now on Sub Pop.
On Saturday, September 9th, Weyes Blood opened Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2024 Fashion Show in New York City, walking in the show and writing an original composition for its soundtrack (see Vogue Sep. 9th, 2023).
Later that evening, she delivered an incredible performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden, opening Beck and Phoenix’s “Summer Odyssey Tour.” She joined the two headliners on their joint single “Odyssey” and Beck’s “Lost Cause.”
Weyes Blood’s headlining “In Holy Flux Tour” continues in support of And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow, with a show on Friday, September 27th in San Francisco, CA, at The Warfield.
On Wednesday, October 4th, Weyes Blood will headline a special hometown show at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles with Perfume Genius.
The “In Holy Flux Tour: The Resurrection,” a run of UK and European shows, will begin Saturday, October 28th in Lisbon, PT at LAV Lisboa ao Vivo and run through Tuesday, November 14th in Nottingham, UK at Rock City.
Weyes Blood will head to South America for shows on Friday, November 24th in Santiago, CL at Fauna Primavera and Sunday, November 26th in Buenos Aires, AR at Primavera Sound. She will also perform on Wednesday, November 29th at Mexico City’s Auditorio Blackberry.
Weyes Blood will be supported on the “In Holy Flux Tour” headlining dates in the US by Sub Pop labelmate Lael Neale (September 27th). In the UK and Europe, Weyes Blood will see support from Vagabon (October 31st-November 15th), Núria Graham (October 28th-30th), and Ichiko Aoba (November 8th and 13th).
Weyes Blood has been captivating audiences with the “In Holy Flux Tour” stops in support of…Hearts Aglow, around the globe.
MOJO says of her recent Glastonbury set, “Her cosmic Carpenters soundworld, a floating white robe and some typically strangeifying visuals by Adam Curtis for ‘God Turn Me Into A Flower’ make this an early peak of the day.” The Times of London offered this, “A poised mix of chamber pop, psychedelic folk, and hypnotic cabaret…. Summer bride meets sorceress.”
Weyes Blood’s And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow is available on CD/LP/CS/DSPs from Sub Pop.
What people are saying about Weyes Blood’s
And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow:
NEW YORK TIMES
★★★★★ - SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE
“One of the year’s most breathtaking records.”
“One fantastic tune after another.”
“Album of the Week” ★★★★ - THE GUARDIAN
“…Through stark truths and dreamy poetry, brushes against big ideas about our broken world and quiet apocalypses of her own: it’s an ecosystem of intimacy, in its power to
redeem and to destroy.”
“Utterly contemporary and original.”
9/10 - LOUD & QUIET
“…A record of remarkable consideration. Magnificently composed. Feeling like a timeless classic.”
9/10 - THE LINE OF BEST FIT
“…Her grandest, most elegant work to date.”
9/10 - UNDER THE RADAR
“An idiosyncratic set of love songs and secular hymns with lushly orchestral arrangements.”
8.4/10, “Best New Music” - PITCHFORK
★★★★★ - NME
“Her voice alone is worth preserving humanity for.”
9/10 - UNCUT
“And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow is intricately put together, with Mering mirroring the sentiments of in head-bending arrangements.”
Deeper’s Careful!, the group’s new full-length album, is available now worldwide on CD/LP/CS/DSPs through Sub Pop.
Careful!, which features the singles and official videos for “Sub,” “Build a Bridge,” “Tele,” and “Fame,” was recorded at Palisade Studios in Chicago with help from producer/engineer Dave Vettraino (Makaya McCraven, Lala Lala). This thirteen-track collection of new songs finds the band reshaping facades, splashing color, and sonically testing their limits.
Deeper recently performed at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival and the Chicago Sun Times described their set as an “…unforgettable triumph…joyous, jagged, infectious and definitely musically memorable.”
The band’s previously announced headline world tour in support of Careful! begins with a North American run of shows (September 21st-October 26th), followed by a European and UK tour (October 31-November 14th). The band will also play a special hometown show on October 26th at Chicago’s Thalia Hall. Please find a current list of dates below.
Thu. Sep. 21 - Indianapolis, IN - Healer # Fri. Sep. 22 - Detroit, MI - El Club # Sat. Sep. 23 - Toronto, ON - Baby G # Sun. Sep. 24 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz # Mon. Sep. 25 - Somerville, MA - Crystal Ballroom # Wed. Sep. 27 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Made # Thu. Sep. 28 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s # Fri. Sep. 29 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar # Sat. Sep. 30 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook # Mon. Oct. 02 - Nashville, TN - Third Man Records # Tue. Oct. 03 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl # Wed. Oct. 04 - New Orleans, LA - Santos # Thu. Oct. 05 - Houston, TX - Black Magic # Fri. Oct. 06 - Austin, TX - Mohawk (inside) $ Sat. Oct. 07 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger $ Tue. Oct. 10 - Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar $ Wed. Oct. 11 - San Diego, CA - Casbah $ Fri. Oct. 13 - Los Angeles, CA - Lodge Room $ Sat. Oct. 14 - Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst Atrium $ Sun. Oct. 15 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent $ Tue. Oct. 17 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios $ Wed. Oct. 18 - Seattle, WA - Madame Lou’s $ Sat. Oct. 21 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge ^ Sun. Oct. 22 - Denver, CO - Skylark ^ Thu. Oct. 26 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall Tue. Oct. 31 - Berlin, DE - Urban Spree Wed. Nov. 01 - Copenhagen, DK - Vega Ideal Bar Thu. Nov. 02 - Hamburg, DE - Molotow Fri, Nov. 03 - Brussels, BE - Botanique Sat. Nov. 04. Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Sun. Nov. 05 - Paris, FR - La Boule Noire Tue. Nov. 07 - Leeds, UK - Headrow House Wed. Nov. 08 - Glasgow, UK - Broadcast Thu. Nov. 09 - Manchester, UK - Yes Fri. Nov. 10 - Bristol, UK - Dareshack Sat. Nov. 11 - London, UK- Pitchfork Music Festival Sun. Nov. 12 - Kortrijk, BE - Sonic City Festival Tue. Nov. 14 - Cologne, DE - Bumann & Sohn
# w/ Godcaster $ w/ Mia Joy ^ w/ Worlds Worst
What people have been saying about Deeper: “There is an increased confidence and swagger this time to go along with their paranoid, angsty vibe that you can feel immediately on songs like “Tele” and “Fame.” That comes partially from slowing things down just a little, which allows more room for an increased synth presence and uniformly awesome basslines. (Also, in the case of “Fame,” room for sax.) Taking their foot off the gas really opens everything up, adds to the tension, and makes Careful! a decidedly deeper listening experience.” “Indie Basement” - BROOKLYN VEGAN
“Deeper have established their post-punky, indie-rock sound quickly and efficiently and, more than anything, it relies on commanding your attention and keeping it…Careful! is a record that hurdles toward you at breakneck speed, clear mission in mind.” FLOOD
“With a move to Sub Pop, Chicago’s Deeper do a Bowie and reinvent their sound on their brilliant third studio album, Careful!” 9/10, GOD IS IN THE TV
“Deeper have always had a musical connectedness that makes them sound lean and confident, but they seem more comfortable incorporating new elements into that connective tissue now. The synth-work across Careful! adds electricity; a saxophone snarls in between the guitars on “Fame”; there’s a nearly-danceable beat on “Tele.” PASTE
” ’Sub’ finds Deeper settling into its most polished sound yet, one that’s finally ready for the indie-rock big leagues. But even when the grit that defined its earlier work is toned down a bit, Deeper’s music can’t be stripped of an angsty zeal.” NPR
“accurately recalls that stubborn, left-field streak Chicago artists so readily call their own.” [“Sub”] CLASH
“Pop melodies drive “Build a Bridge,” but they’re undercut with Deeper’s classic pointed, jittery guitars that make the track at once catchy and a little unnerving.” CONSEQUENCE
Frankie Cosmos’ “Abigail,” one of the pawsitively awesome standouts from 2022’s Inner World Peace, is being released today on all streaming services as a new remix by Kero Kero Bonito, along with a new arrangement of the song by Greta Kline, and the original demo version.
Kline says, “‘Abigail’ is named after, and is partly about, a dog I saw on Petfinder years ago and became obsessed with. The album art is my drawn version of a real text exchange about her.”
“Kero Kero Bonito is one of our favorite bands (collectively) and after we covered ‘Fish Bowl’ for their ‘remix’ album in 2017, they always said they would remix something of ours someday. They went above and beyond crafting such a fun & original track from the ‘Abigail’ stems for the Kero Kero Bonito remix.
“I’m excited to also showcase my ability as a producer by releasing a new arrangement of ‘Abigail (Casio Version)’ recorded entirely by me at home.
“The original demo of ‘Abigail (Great Scraps Demo)’ is a full verse shorter and super bare - it shows how much the band expanded it and brought it to life for the album version. I think it’s fun to let the listener in on some of the different ways a song can exist, it’s infinite!”
Frankie Cosmos has scheduled a fall US tour in support of Inner World Peace and its expanded, digital deluxe edition Clean Weird Prone, both available now from Sub Pop. The dates begin Friday, September 22nd in Washington, DC at 9:30 Club and end Sunday, October 8th in Brooklyn, NY at Warsaw. Please find a current list of dates below.
Fri. Sep. 22 - Washington, DC - 930 Club Sat. Sep. 23 - Virginia Beach, VA - The Bunker Brewpub Sun. Sep. 24 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle Tavern Mon. Sep. 25 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West Thu. Sep. 28 - Austin, TX - Mohawk Fri. Sep. 29 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger Sat. Sep. 30 - Dallas, TX - Sons of Hermann Hall Sun. Oct. 01 - Tulsa, OK - Guthrie Green Mon. Oct. 02 - St Louis, MO - Off-Broadway Tue. Oct. 03 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle Wed. Oct. 04 - Lakewood, OH - Mahalls Thu. Oct. 05 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church, Sun. Oct. 08 - Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw
Frankie Cosmos’ Clean Weird Prone (Inner World Peace Deluxe), is an expanded edition of the band’s 2022 album, Inner World Peace, which garnered praise from The New York Times, PAPER, Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, Consequence, PASTE, Under The Radar (“Best Albums of 2022”), and Uproxx.
Clean Weird Prone includes the original 15-track Inner World Peace tracklist, along with unreleased tracks, demos, and alternate versions of the album’s songs.
What people are saying about Frankie Cosmos Inner World Peace: “Inner World Peace benefits from that introspection in its ability to groove. These songs bend and stretch like they’re toying with psych pop, even though the music is still delivered through Frankie Cosmos’ now-trademark minimalism. It’s that Stereolab-esque refrain repeating at the end of “A Work Call,” Alex Bailey’s roving bass and guitar parts straight out of the ‘60s in “Fragments,” Lauren Martin’s airy synth warbling like a ripple of smoke in “Fruit Stand.” The better you begin to understand yourself, the easier it becomes to move about the world. That looseness is at the heart of Inner World Peace, both in music and lyrics.” - PITCHFORK
“Growing up but not giving up, Frankie Cosmos counteracts time by way of a shift in sound toward the psychedelic. With looped riffs of whiny reverb and distinct sound layers, Inner World Peace lulls the listener’s sense of awareness; and consequently, produces an experience that is indifferent to time.” - POST-TRASH
“The warped guitar pitches, strutting bass, and spacey keys of “Aftershook,” for example, set a Halloween-friendly mood between brisker segments of punchy indie pop. “F.O.O.F.” (“freak out on Friday”) seems to bridge modern guitar pop, prog rock, and retro sunshine pop thanks in part to its lilting double-tracked lead vocal, fuzzy guitar tones, and breezy backing vocals.” - ALL MUSIC
On November 3rd, Sub Pop will release the 30th anniversary vinyl edition of the pioneering ambient-metal album Earth 2 Special Low Frequency Version by Earth. The re-release revives the double album’s original packaging - an extra-wide jacket with two color inner sleeves - for the first time since the long out-of-print 1993 pressing and adds a double-sided insert with never-before-seen photos of the band from the Earth 2 era. This new edition will be on glacial blue vinyl (US) and Blue Curacao vinyl (UK & EU).
Also out on November 3rd is a companion piece entitled Earth 2.23 Special Lower Frequency Mix. Earth 2.23 highlights the enduring influence of Earth 2 with brand new, exclusive reinterpretations of Earth 2 material by The Bug feat. Flowdan, Robert Hampson (Loop, Main), Justin K Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu), and Brett Netson (Built to Spill, Caustic Resin). The four-track vinyl version will be limited to 2,500 copies worldwide and will be on glacial blue vinyl to match the anniversary edition of Earth 2. The digital version will add a bonus remix by Kevin Richard Martin (aka The Bug). The cover of Earth 2.23 features original artwork by underground art legend Savage Pencil.
The Bug says of their contribution “Angels (The Bug Remix feat. Flowdan)”: “When I first heard Earth 2 I didn’t even make it to the end of the album, as I later embarrassingly confessed to Dylan Carlson. But ironically it ended up being one of ‘those’ records that sounds so alien on first listen, but ends up being a constant companion, absolutely embedded under my skin and in constant rotation. So much so that I later approached Dylan to collaborate on our 2017 album Concrete Desert for Ninja Tune. So it was incredibly flattering to be approached by him to reinterpret one of Earth 2’s choice cuts. As I knew Dylan was a fan of my work with Flowdan, it was a no brainer to invite my regular partner in musical crime to spit on the mic for my rework. We aimed to fuse drone, hip hop, low end dirt and grime into a monolithic slab of sonic f-ck you. The result made us smile in the best possible way.”
You can now listen to “Angels (The Bug Remix feat. Flowdan)” from Earth 2.23 Special Lower Frequency Mix HERE.
Earth 2 Special Low Frequency Version 30th Anniversary Edition North American Vinyl Mock Up
Earth 2.23 Lower Frequency Mix North American Mock Up
More on Earth 2 Special Low Frequency Version and Earth 2.23 Special Lower Frequency Mix by Grayson Currin: Did you know there are horses on the cover of Earth 2 Special Low Frequency Version? There are at least three of them there in the right hand corner, pale brown and blonde beauties gathered inexplicably near a white canvas tent, a human possibly perched among its folds. A black cow (is that a cow?) grazes at the left, an enigmatic peppery blemish on an overwhelming landscape of white heaven, blue sky, and green earth. In 1993, that triptych of strata offered a fittingly bold canvas for the pronouncement of a landmark: Earth 2, the glacially paced but radically charged record that is one of heavy metal’s very few sui generis statements of the last 30 years. But as widescreen and vast as the cover may seem, those little details—the horses, the possible human, the faint wisp of white clouds—give it depth and wonder, something for which the imagination can return.
Did you know that the music on Earth 2—repressed now for its 30th anniversary, back in its original artwork, and accompanied by a riveting set of remixes that demonstrate the reach of what Dylan Carlson long ago called “ambient metal”—works much the same way? The surface is massive and obvious, the meatpaw riffs of Carlson and bassist Dave Harwell pounding and swiping and pawing at the speakers, a true bludgeon in three-dimensional sound. Their combined might speak directly to the end-times-minded. “Seven Angels,”for instance, is staggering, the theme throbbing like techno near the piece’s middle.
They ride the slow changes of “Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine” like celestial surfers who have descended from their Mount Olympus perch, patient and powerful and purposeful. The half-hour finale “Like Gold and Faceted” pours out like a tidal wave of mud, its titanic strength seeming to rend free Joe Burns’ incidental percussion like debris on some ravaged roadway. If you’ve always heard Earth 2 as an engrossing exposition of sustained muscle and exquisite volume, fair enough. It is absolutely that.
Listen, though, for the details in the corners, for the finesse beneath the force, and Earth 2 suddenly reveals new levels of depth and wonder. Hear the way the shells of the amplifiers seem to rattle back during a rest seven minutes into “Seven Angels,” like an unintended rhythm section. Or the way the overtones accrete throughout those 15 minutes, like a subterranean choir singing harmony is steadily rising beneath the din. There’s the vertiginous motion of “Teeth,” where layers of distorted drone wash over one another in all directions until you believe that maybe the very idea of forward motion is a mirage. You could spend a lifetime teasing out where one sound begins, another ends.
And then, with “Like Gold and Faceted,” Earth does something of the opposite, leaking one sound into another as if pouring a guitar’s viscous tone through the world’s longest funnel. Close your eyes just beyond the three-minute mark, and you can hear such a rendezvous, with guitars, bass, and amps crackling into a seamless groan. It is a careful and beautiful moment, like noticing all the brushstrokes a painter used to master some ever-complicated gradient of color.
The widespread impact of Earth 2 suggests that others have indeed been leaning in, listening to these minutiae and making something new of them. A masterpiece without many genre precedents, Earth 2 surely helped send doom metal down its more modern drone, ambient, and avant-garde avenues. Those descendants are obvious. Perhaps more surprising and gratifying are the ways it has influenced electronic music, modern composition, and even hip-hop by realigning our senses of tempo, time, and texture. Earth 2 engendered a rearrangement of expectations, regardless of preferred form.
The new five-remix set, Earth 2.23 Special Lower Frequency Mix, makes this clearer than ever. The Bug has taken a bit of “Seven Angels” and laced it with feedback and big bass, allowing grime luminary Flowdan to climb atop it with his dark, staccato visions. Responsible for many transformational records himself, Justin K. Broadrick of Jesu and Godflesh crawls inside “Teeth” to lash at it with punishing drum machines and sordid layers of new distortion, building it into some brokedown palace of industrial mayhem. Loop’s Robert Hampson makes good on the premise of ambient metal with his 30-minute hypnotic beauty, while longtime Earth cohort and longtime Built to Spill multi-instrumentalist Brett Netson seems to float the sound through a benighted graveyard on his clever “Teeth” revamp. When The Bug’s Kevin Richard Martin comes back around for “Like Gold and Faceted,” he puts it on a dub platter, spinning it through a demented psychedelic fantasyland. These are not obvious directions for Earth’s impact. Again, Earth 2 was never an obvious record.
Earth does not sound like Earth 2 anymore. Along with steadfast drummer Adrienne Davies, Carlson has landed after an extended pause somewhere between Earth 7 and Earth Infinity, using the nominal structure of blues-based instrumental rock to follow flickering riffs through the deep dark. They are refined, subtle, and deceptively quiet now, as if always about to crest some undetected barrier.
The force that made Earth 2 so jarring and affirming is still there, though, hidden in plain sound, as if the image of 1993 has been suddenly reversed. Rather than see mostly the striking mountain and try to tease out the details, as Carlson and Harwell did so rapturously on Earth 2, you now first see the mountain’s minute details—its cracks, faces, grains—and intuit that the imposing shape is still there, even if you cannot comprehend its true enormity. But 30 years on, have we yet to grasp the enormity of Earth 2, anyway, an album that has continued its slow cycle of influence, uninterrupted? Probably not. Hell, most of us don’t even know there are horses on the cover.
Earth 2 Special Low Frequency Version 30th Anniversary Edition
Tracklisting: 1. Seven Angels 2. Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine 3. Like Gold and Faceted
Earth 2.23 Special Lower Frequency Mix
Tracklisting: 1. Angels (The Bug Remix feat. Flowdan) 2. May Your Vanquished Be Saved from the Bondage of their Sins (Robert Hampson Remix) 3. Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine (Justin K Broadrick Remix) 4. Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine (Brett Netson Version) 5. Like Gold and Faceted (Kevin Richard Martin Remix)* *digital-only