Japanese quartet CHAI present a new single/video, “PING PONG!,” from their forthcoming album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop. The track is a laser beam ode to a social activity that CHAI love but cannot currently partake in. In Japan, CHAI would often play ping pong after visits to the public hot springs, called onsen. “PING PONG!” also features YMCK, who brought a gaming feel to the production, which CHAI wanted to match.“
CHAI elaborate: “We’re channeling our inner playful selves, challenging ourselves to fun, and bringing you that nostalgic-feel with this song! There’s just something about old video games that’s super cute, a little tacky, yet at the same time fancy. Something that you think is “old-school” but at the same time super refreshing. YMCK collaborated with us on this and created the ultimate 8bit World of CHAI!”
“The theme for PING PONG is exactly as is, ‘ping pong.’ In Japanese culture, there’s this routine where Hot Springs or ‘onsen’ and playing PING PONG go hand in hand.
When the four of us hit the hot springs, we always wear a Yukata (unlined Summer kimono), drink a cup of milk, and go right into some PING PONG! It’s very Japanese, something we don’t think exists overseas and that’s exactly what we want to share! You can hear it in the lyrics and you can feel it in the music video!”
YMCK adds: “It was our first time creating something from start to finish remotely but everything turned out amazing with each member’s character shining through!
Don’t miss this ever-so free and forever dancing world of CHAI!”
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. They took quarantine 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. WINK is also the first CHAI album to feature contributions from outside producers (Mndsgn, YMCK) as well as Ric Wilson. 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.
PRAISE FOR CHAI
“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
“challenging your expectations is a key tenet of this band.” - NPR Music
“the dreamier, more rhythmic approach [of ‘Nobody Knows We Are Fun’] still makes room for delicious vocal melodies.” - Billboard
“It’s well-established that CHAI know how to amp things up, but ‘Nobody Knows We Are Fun’ (off their new album WINK) proves that they’re equally delightful when they slow the groove down.” - The FADER
“[‘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
What Is Going On? the five-song debut EP of bedroom pop from singer, songwriter, and producer Hannah Jadagu (pron. juh-dah-goo) is out now on all DSPs from Sub Pop.
Today, she is sharing the official video for “Sundown,” which she co-directed with her manager Ava Solomon. Hannah says of the video, “We shot this video on iPhone because we really wanted to tap into the DIY vibe of the project, especially since it’s how I made the EP. I also wanted it to capture friendship and my teenage years. I feel this “Sundown” video really ties the whole EP together.”
“Sundown” was the first song that helped Hannah realize that music could be a way to express what she was otherwise unable to articulate. She says,“‘Sundown’ takes place when I was a junior in high school and I decided to write a song about how I was feeling at the time,” she says. “I was exhausted from schoolwork, extracurricular activities, college-prep, and overall life of being a pre-college teen. ‘Sundown’ was a way for me to express thoughts I’d kept to myself.” She continues, “Sonically, this song is layered with many different background vocals, uses of reverb, chorus and pitch shift. It’s very telling of the music I was consuming at the moment.”
Hailing from Mesquite, Texas and now residing in New York, the incredibly resourceful 18 year-old records and produces her music all through her iPhone 7. Using Garageband iOS, an iRig, microphone, and guitar, Hannah has found a process that has served her well so far in her young recording career.
Hannah released What Is Going On?’s first single “Think Too Much,” which was warmly received by outlets like Jezebel who raved, “An immediate charmer—dreamy melodies emboldened by a neurotic interiority—and maybe the greatest song about fearing turning 23 since Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?” Meanwhile, Alternative Press noted it for “dreamy synths and beats” and Brooklyn Vegan called it “A catchy dose of indie/dream pop that makes good on the promise of Hannah’s Soundcloud singles.”
What people are saying about Hannah Jadagu:
“She does a great job of expressing a sense of being trapped in a loop of negative thoughts (“why does it feel like I’m digging a hole?”) while keeping the music light and breezy.” [“Think Too Much” / “20 Best Rock Songs Right Now”] - The FADER
“Jadagu’s songs have an inherently chill quality that feel almost effortless.” - Dallas Observer
“A colorful dose of sweet, soaring psych and folk seems to coalesce into its own new genre… “Think Too Much” is intimate, but feels like it was always meant to be shared not with a diary, but a full audience: Jadagu’s dazzling performance is underscored by haunting lyrics that delve into one’s inner demons, uncertainties, and self-doubts – and an ethereal, catchy chorus all about overcoming these obstacles.” - Atwood Magazine
“Will delight your ears and …will warm your heart.” [“Think Too Much”] - Closed Captioned
“The track spans just under 3 minutes long and it captures a rosy, youthful wonder. Jadagu’s dreamy vocals paired with the lo-fi instrumentation gives “Think Too Much” a light bedroom pop haze. There’s a feelgood nature to the track, especially with its jangly guitars and upbeat bounce.” [“Think Too Much”] - Abduction Radiation
“Invitingly-vernal and open-hearted…” [“Think Too Much”] - The Autumn Roses
“The near 3-minute track begins with melodic guitar strumming before light drums kick in and give the song the feeling of a great summer pop tune. As Jadagu’s soft, gorgeous voice swears “It’s all in your head,” backing vocals from a group falsetto choir bring the song’s energy to life even more. The video for “Think Too Much” was directed Cameron Livesey and features Jadagu and a group of friends wander through a city-scape of bridges, trains and streets, singing along to the positive tune.” [“Think Too Much”] - MXDWN
“[A] brilliant letter of introduction…” [“Think Too Much”] - Binaural
“The title track of the debut EP from 18-year-old New York-by-way-of-Texas singer/songwriter Hannah Jadagu, What is Going On? is one of the better ‘song of the summer’ candidates we’ve heard thus far in this young year. With a Strat as her weapon of choice, Jadagu coats the song’s anxious lyrics with a breezy, perfect ’n’ simple riff. Just the right touch of distortion, a catchy lead guitar hook, and warm washes of synths as background muscle? Can’t ask for much more than that.” [“What Is Going On?”] - Guitar World
“The single features a chorus-drenched riff and phased strums reminiscent of the Beach Fossils guitar sound. The crisp packet drum sound is loaded with lo-fi tones and a tinge of hip hop. Hannah’s vocals are addictively sentimental, the melody echoed by the jovial lead guitar.” [“What Is Going On?”] - The Most Radicalist
What Is Going On?
1. My Bones
3. Think Too Much
4. What Is Going On?
5. Bleep Bloop
The Pope of Trash, John Waters, celebrates his 75th birthday today, April 22nd, 2021, by releasing “Prayer to Pasolini,” his tribute to the legendarily controversial Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini. The digital release, available now at all digital music services, includes John’s “Prayer to Pasolini,” John speaking in tongues, and 12 additional audio clips of John sharing his thoughts on Pasolini’s work. A 7” vinyl version of “Prayer to Pasolini” will be released later this year as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club Vol. 6; the 7” version is only available to current Singles Club subscribers, and will be limited to 1,000 copies (subscribe here!).
The single was recorded at a small park in the wetlands near Rome’s airport, where a monument stands in Pasolini’s honor. It was here that Pasolini was run over multiple times with his own car by a hustler, after having his testicles deliberately crushed by his murderer.
The recordings were made with Waters’ long-time colleague and friend, Grammy-winning producer and author, Ian Brennan (Tinariwen, Zomba Prison Project, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott). That it happened in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis only made it more surreal.
Waters and company arrived to find the site fenced and seemingly padlocked. Fortuitously, Brennan had bought wire-cutting tools just for the occasion, but they were ultimately not needed.
As Brennan recorded industrial, wind, and bird sounds, John concentrated on the healing, nearly ironic religious experience of being there.
The area is industrialized, but remains potentially more primitive than during the Roman Empire era, when it acted as the main port. Some of its ruins still stand. During Pasolini’s neorealist heyday, prostitutes were drawn by the area’s remoteness. The prostitutes were nicknamed “fireflies,” for the image created as they puffed cigarettes in the dark.
Waters’ and Pasolini’s careers overlapped, with their most notorious films — Pink Flamingos and Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, respectively — being released and banned in the first half of the 1970s, in large part for featuring scenes of actors eating shit. Waters says that the only difference was that in Pink Flamingos (which pre-dates Pasolini’s Salo by more than three-and-a-half years), Divine ate actual shit, while the Italian actors used chocolate.
“But I don’t hold it against them,” Waters quips.
Prayer To Pasolini
7” Single Tracklisting
1. Prayer to Pasolini
2. Onsite at Pasolini’s Memorial in Italy
3. Speaking in Tongues (featuring sounds from Pasolini’s murder site)
1. Prayer to Pasolini
2. Onsite at Pasolini’s Memorial in Italy
3. Speaking in Tongues (featuring sounds from Pasolini’s murder site)
4. Conspiracy Theories
5. Openly Gay
6. Eating Shit
7. Drive-in Theaters
8. Political Correctness
9. Anna Magnani
10. Casting Methods
11. Pasolini’s Artistry
12. Influence of Pasolini
13. News of Pasolini’s Death
14. The Neorealists
On June 11th, 2021, Sub Pop will reissue The Shins Oh, Inverted World (20th Anniversary Remaster), the group’s much-beloved debut, for its 20th birthday.
Oh, Inverted World is the earth-shattering, indie-rock-redefining 2001 album from The Shins, and is presented here in its finest form. The classic tunes get new life with mastering by Bob Ludwig, under band leader James Mercer’s watchful eye. The new front cover of this edition of Oh, Inverted World features an ‘inverted’ color scheme, on a die-cut jacket, and includes a booklet filled with vintage photos, handwritten lyrics, liner notes, and more.
20 lucky fans who purchase the LP will receive the “Golden Ticket” edition of the album, which includes a 7”x7” classic photo of the band signed by Mercer, hidden in 10 Loser Edition and 10 standard black vinyl copies.
The music on Oh, Inverted World is obviously essential, and this remastering truly makes this the album Mercer always wanted it to be. Never quite satisfied with the sonics of the original, Mercer took the 20th anniversary of the album as his opportunity to finally set the (literal!) record straight. And the results sound stellar: great for new fans, and well worth the attention for those who fell in love with it in the first place.
Mercer says of Oh, Inverted World, “This record gave me the life that I never really dreamed I would have. It opened me up to the whole world and gave me validation. It’s also something that stands as a bit of a pinnacle for our band. You release that first record and it’s so well embraced, but you’re always trying to get that magic back, I think. We’ve done well, certainly, but the fervor that happened around Oh, Inverted World we never quite reached again. It’s a special moment when you’re a new band and you’ve got what was apparently kind of a new sound. This record symbolized a very special moment in my life, a watershed moment for sure.”
The Oh, Inverted World (20th Anniversary Remaster) is now available to pre-order through Sub Pop. LP pre-orders from megamart.subpop.com, The Shins merch store, select independent retailers in North America, the U.K., EU, Australia and New Zealand will receive the limited Loser edition on light blue with white marble vinyl (while supplies last).
Oh, Inverted World (20th Anniversary Remaster)
1. Caring Is Creepy
2. One by One All Day
3. Weird Divide
4. Know Your Onion!
5. Girl Inform Me
6. New Slang
7. The Celibate Life
8. Girl on the Wing
9. Your Algebra
10. Pressed in a Book
11. The Past and Pending