News for Chai

NEWS : FRI, AUG 27, 2021 at 7:00 AM

CHAI Release New Video For “miniskirt”

This past spring, CHAI released their new album WINK via Sub Pop. On WINK, the “scrappiness of Chai’s early records is peeled back to reveal a dreamier collection of melodies driven by Yuna’s sprightly and varied drumming” (New York Times), and their recently-released Adult Swim single “miniskirt” falls into this sound. Today, they share an accompanying video directed by Yoshika Matsuoka. CHAI consistently have an incredible, colorful aesthetic - and this new video is a hi-def presentation of their curated sets. 

CHAI’s YUUKI elaborates: “W​​e brainstormed everything, from the ideas to the plot, and with the director, we brought it all to life! This song’s keywords, ‘miniskirt’ and ‘showing off your skin,’ brought the vision for a battle between the miniskirt and long-skirt cliques. Our ‘fight for justice’ in the means of ‘kawaii’ may differ from ‘justice’ for others…and the thought of ‘kawaii,’ that never came to our minds, may actually be the door to opening something new…It’s a story of realization through battle! In the end, what we see is ‘NEO!’ Within this one life we get to live, let’s reinvent ourselves over and over again!”


PRAISE FOR WINK

“Chai is a professional purveyor of whimsy.” - New York Times

“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

“Inspired by the varied genres they were listening to at home, WINK injects the effervescent energy of their past dance-punk work into funk, chiptune, and more.”

 - Pitchfork

“This is the year CHAI breaks through like never before.” - Complex

“WINK looks to possess a glitzy, glossy appeal all its own, incorporating EDM and R&B in gleefully idiosyncratic ways.” - AV Club


Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : FRI, MAY 21, 2021 at 6:00 AM

Listen to CHAI’s New Album, WINK, out today on Sub Pop and Watch the New Video for “IN PINK” (feat. MNDSGN)

Japanese quartet CHAI’s new album, WINK, is out today on Sub Pop. In conjunction with its release, they present a new video for one of its tracks, “IN PINK” (feat. Mndsgn). “IN PINK” is in line with a previously released string of fun singles and aesthetically pleasing videos, and is no exception to CHAI’s vibrant sound and visuals. Filled with grooving synth and bass, it champions the affecting and exciting songwriting seen across WINK. The accompanying video, directed by Hideto Hotta, takes the song’s title quite literally, as CHAI appears in various places around Japan while dressed in the color themselves. 

CHAI elaborates: “Each and everyone of us has our own color, and each of those colors possess their own kind of power! PINK is a strong yet gentle color, one that has the ability to make any and everyone shine! No matter who or how old you are! CHAI will continue to move forward, alongside the limitless color PINK! It’s that type of song! Enjoy it 〜♡”





WATCH/LISTEN/SHARE

WATCH THE “ACTION” VIDEO

WATCH THE “NOBODY KNOWS WE’RE FUN” VIDEO

WATCH THE “MAYBE CHOCOLATE CHIPS” (FEAT. RIC WILSON) VIDEO

WATCH THE “PING PONG!” VIDEO

WATCH THE “DONUTS MIND IF I DO” VIDEO

WATCH THE “PLASTIC LOVE” VIDEO


PRAISE FOR CHAI

“On ‘Wink,’ the scrappiness of Chai’s early records is peeled back to reveal a dreamier collection of melodies” - New York Times

“They traded in their maximalist pop for a more groove-friendly sound, inverting the CHAI formula to great effect.” - The New Yorker

“Delving into everything from twilight ballads to hyperactive chiptune, third album WINK explodes the idea that CHAI have any genre limitations, proving the four-piece can glide between styles off the strength of their songwriting”  - Pitchfork

“challenging your expectations is a key tenet of this band.” - NPR Music

“this is the year CHAI breaks through like never before.” - Complex

“Totally original, completely unselfconscious and wonderfully catchy, WINK is one of those rare albums that you can throw on anytime and let it guide you on the journey it has laid out before you.” - Exclaim


CHAI Online:

http://chai-band.com/

https://twitter.com/CHAIofficialJPN

https://www.instagram.com/chaiofficialjpn/

https://www.facebook.com/CHAIofficialJPN/


Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : WED, APR 28, 2021 at 6:00 AM

CHAI present new single/video, “PING PONG!” New album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop

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. 

WATCH THE “NOBODY KNOWS WE’RE FUN” VIDEO

WATCH THE “MAYBE CHOCOLATE CHIPS” (FEAT. RIC WILSON) VIDEO

WATCH THE “ACTION” VIDEO

WATCH THE “DONUTS MIND IF I DO” VIDEO

WATCH THE “PLASTIC LOVE” VIDEO

PRE-ORDER WINK

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



Posted by Abbie Gobeli

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.”

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

“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

NEWS : WED, FEB 24, 2021 at 6:00 AM

CHAI release new single + video for “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (feat. Ric Wilson) New album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop

Japanese quartet CHAI present a new single/video, “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (Feat. Ric Wilson), from their forthcoming album, WINK, due May 21st on Sub Pop. CHAI’s past albums have been filled with playful references, in the lyrics, to food, and WINK’s intimate single “Maybe Chocolate Chips” offers an evolution of this motif. Bassist/lyricist YUUKI wanted to write a self-love song about her moles: “Things that we want to hold on to, things that we wished went away. A lot of things happen as we age and with that for me, is new moles! But I love them! My moles are like the chocolate chips on a cookie, the more you have, the happier you become! and before you know it, you’re an original♡” Chicago rapper Ric Wilson, who they initially connected with at the 2019 Pitchfork Music Festival, brings smooth vocals over a laidback beat and whirring, dreamy synth. A community activist and artist based on the Southside of Chicago, he got his start with the legendary Young Chicago Authors, the Chicago-based storytelling and poetry organization which helped launch the likes of Noname, Saba, Jamila Woods, Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Mick Jenkins, and many others. He’s also featured in the accompanying video, directed by Callum Scott-Dyson, which is made of fun collages and video clips in classic CHAI style.
 
CHAI elaborates: “This music video is the perfect visual for ‘Maybe Chocolate Chips.’ It was our first time working with Callum and the result (animation, etc.) was something we’d never tried before!  Callum actually reached out to us for this but we loved how his work featured grotesque but cute components and tons of fantasy so our vision for this was in line.  ♡⭐️^o^♡ Your mole is actually a Chocolate Chip!  But you knew that already right?!♡⭐️♡”
 

CHAI is made up of identical twins 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 at  music festivals like Primavera Sound and Pitchfork Music Festival, and touring with indie-rock mainstays like Whitney and Mac DeMarco. Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. But CHAI took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Having previously used their maximalist recordings to capture the exuberance of their live shows, 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.
 
While the band leaned into a more personal sound, 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. It signals CHAI’s relationship with the outside world, an embrace of profound togetherness. Through music, as CHAI said, “we are all coming together.” In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”


 
WATCH THE “ACTION” VIDEO
 
WATCH THE “PLASTIC LOVE” VIDEO
 
WATCH THE “DONUTS MIND IF I DO” VIDEO
 
PRE-ORDER WINK
 
PRAISE FOR “ACTION”
 
“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
 
“It’s so far their biggest earworm in a catalog of songs that can get stuck in your head
for weeks.” - Vice
 
“The song alone is irresistible enough on its own, but CHAI’s fun-loving energy also comes through quite well in the video” - Paste
 
“You can hear the chilled-out direction on terrific new single ‘ACTION’ that musically has a bit of a ’90s hip hop feel” - Brooklyn Vegan

Posted by Abbie Gobeli

NEWS : TUE, JAN 19, 2021 at 6:00 AM

CHAI Announce New Album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop, Watch the Video for “ACTION”

Today, Japanese quartet CHAI are thrilled to announce their new album, WINK, out May 21st on Sub Pop. Ahead of its release, they present lead single/video “ACTION.” Their third full-length and first for Sub Pop, WINK contains CHAI’s mellowest and most minimal music, and also their most affecting and exciting songwriting by far. WINK is a fitting title then: a subtle but bold gesture. A wink is an unselfconscious act of conviction, or as CHAI puts it: “A person who winks is a person with a pure heart, who lives with flexibility, who does what they want. A person who winks is a person who is free.” YUUKI noted that “With this album, we’re winking at you. We’re living freely and we hope that when you listen, you can wink and live freely, too.”


WINK is now available to preorder from Sub Pop. LPs purchased through megamart.subpop.com, and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on colored vinyl (while supplies last). 

CHAI is made up of identical twins 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 at  music festivals like Primavera Sound and Pitchfork Music Festival, and touring with indie-rock mainstays like Whitney and Mac DeMarco. Like all musicians, CHAI spent 2020 forced to rethink the fabric of their work and lives. But CHAI took this as an opportunity to shake up their process and bring their music somewhere thrillingly new. Having previously used their maximalist recordings to capture the exuberance of their live shows, with the audiences’ reactions in mind, 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. Amidst the global shutdown, CHAI worked on Garageband and traded their song ideas—which they had more time than ever to consider—over Zoom and phone calls, turning their limitations into a strength.

While the band leaned into a more personal sound, WINK is also the first CHAI album to feature contributions from outside producers (Mndsgn, YMCK) as well as a feature from Chicago rapper-singer Ric Wilson. CHAI 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. Whether in relation to this newfound sense of openness or their at-home ways of composing, the theme of WINK is to challenge yourself.

Lead single “ACTION” was a response to watching the Black Lives Matter protests unfold across America and the world in June of 2020 while the band was in Japan. 

“Seeing how the world came together during the protests really moved me,” said YUUKI. “I wanted to dedicate that song to the year of action.” The band further elaborates: “The world as we know it has changed,  but even with that, it’s still a world where nothing really changes. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there more ACTION rooted in happiness? Be the change that you want to see!…I’m going to be the pioneer in seeing the world I want to see, meeting the people I want to meet! We start off by expressing the fun in ACTION with this music video♡ Why don’t you join us?! It’s that type of song♡.”

CHAI came to see WINK—with its home-y feel—as a collection where each song is like a new friend, something comforting to rely on and reach out to, as the album was for them throughout 2020. This impulse towards connection 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. It signals CHAI’s relationship with the outside world, an embrace of profound togetherness. Through music, as CHAI said, “we are all coming together.” In that act of opening themselves up, CHAI grew into their best work: “This album showed us, we’re ready to do more.”

WATCH THE “PLASTIC LOVE” VIDEO

WATCH THE “DONUTS MIND IF I DO” VIDEO

PRE-ORDER WINK

WINK TRACKLIST

1. Donuts Mind If I Do

2. Maybe Chocolate Chips (feat. Ric Wilson)

3. ACTION

4. END

5. PING PONG! (feat. YMCK)

6. Nobody Knows We Are Fun

7. It’s Vitamin C

8. IN PINK (feat. Mndsgn)

9. KARAAGE

10. Miracle

11. Wish Upon a Star

12. Salty


Posted by Abbie Gobeli