NEWS : WED, MAR 31, 2021 at 7:00 AM

CHAI Reveal New Single/Video, “Nobody Knows We Are Fun”, New Album, WINK, Out May 21st

Japanese quartet CHAI reveal a new single/video, “Nobody Knows We Are Fun,” from their forthcoming album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop. It’s the third single off of the album released thus far, following “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (Feat. Ric Wilson) and “ACTION.” CHAI are known for their fun, vibrant music videos, and “Nobody Knows We Are Fun” is no exception. Directed by Hideto Hotta, the video is cinematic and polished, showing the band adorned in colorful outfits and settings. The track was inspired by an at-home activity: YUUKI was watching 2019’s Booksmart when she had the idea for the song. (The movie’s whip smart protagonists decide to attend a party before high school graduation after realizing, “Nobody knows we’re fun!”) “I thought, ‘We, CHAI, can really relate to that scene,” YUUKI said of the song, which the band describe as “a mix of screaming our annoyances—why don’t you guys notice us!—while trying to be cute and sexy.” Let’s check in with CHAI and see what they have to say about the song:

“It’s like ‘Nobody Knows We Are Fun,’ right?!” 

“Seriously! Not cool!”

“Perhaps they underestimate us? ♡”

“Or maybe they are like ‘don’t be a show off!’” 

“Say what you want!  What matters is that despite always being ourselves and never changing, we are still the most FUN!” 

“Totally!! ♡♡”

“It’s that type of song!  Take a listen and loosen up♡”

CHAI is MANA (lead vocals and keys) and KANA (guitar), drummer YUNA, and bassist-lyricist YUUKI. Following the release of 2019’s PUNK, CHAI’s adventures took them around the world, playing their high-energy and buoyant shows. Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. They took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Rather than having maximalist recordings like in the past, CHAI instead focused on crafting the slightly-subtler and more introspective kinds of songs they enjoy listening to at home—where, for the first time, they recorded all of the music.  They draw R&B and hip-hop into their mix (Mac Miller, the Internet, and Brockhampton were on their minds) of dance-punk and pop-rock, all while remaining undeniably CHAI. 

WINK is also the first CHAI album to feature contributions from outside producers (Mndsgn, YMCK) as well as Ric Wilson. This impulse towards connection with others is in WINK’s title, too. After the “i” of PINK and the “u” of PUNK—which represented the band’s act of introducing themselves, and then of centering their audiences—they have come full circle with the “we” of WINK.  In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”


“One of CHAI’s greatest strengths is the Japanese band’s ability to weave between different genres, buoyed by their generous sense of humor and vibrantly catchy hooks” - Pitchfork

“This propulsive, retro-sounding bop from Japanese quartet CHAI deserves to soundtrack your next dance break.” - Nylon

“[‘ACTION’ is] so far their biggest earworm in a catalog of songs that can get stuck in your head for weeks.” - Vice

“As demonstrated by its lead single ‘ACTION,’ the band’s heading in a vibier, more laidback direction. Their new track ‘Maybe Chocolate Chips’ is breathy and spacey and it features a guest spot from Chicago rapper Ric Wilson.” - Stereogum

“’Maybe Chocolate Chips’ brings a lo-fi feel to CHAI’s brand of indie rock, with a bass-heavy beat and whirring synth. Rapper Ric Wilson…joins the song halfway through with an eloquent, feel-good verse.” - Paste

Posted by Abbie Gobeli