CHAI – CHAI [Streaming]

Today the Japanese band CHAI dropped their self-titled eponymous fourth album via Sub Pop.
More into the fun upbeat plus catchy J-Pop and English (more simple words) album that we have known from CHAI with their message and music.

About the album by CHAI:
CHAI returning to their roots, drawing inspiration from their Japanese cultural heritage and the music that raised them.
“Everything reflected in the lyrics expresses our experience as Japanese women,” MANA says, explaining why they chose to self-title this album. CHAI’s ethos is one of inclusion, and lead single “We The Female!” – recorded live off the floor to honor the band’s riotous performances – beckons all listeners into the mission.

“We are human and were born as female, but we have both female and male aspects in each of our souls, each with our own sense of balance,” CHAI said in an accompanying statement.
“We can’t just label ourselves into clear-cut, simple categories anymore!
I’m not anyone else but just ‘me,’ and you are no one else but just ‘you.’
This song celebrates that with a roar!”

CHAI have espoused a philosophy they call Neo Kawaii, in reference to the Japanese word for cute, a label typically bestowed upon women who maintain societally prescribed beauty standards.
As young women, CHAI felt that any deviation from what culture considered kawaii was discouraged, and so Neo Kawaii emerged as a rallying cry against those oppressive standards.
“Neo Kawaii is about reclaiming self-esteem,” MANA says.
On the ESG-inspired single “NEO KAWAII, K?” MANA sings: “This is just my body, not a trendy body/ Gonna be loved, baby!/ Just as I am.”

Realizing that message applied to people outside of 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.
Unlike previous albums, CHAI wrote their self-titled record on the road, finding time to record in the days between shows at Stones Throw Studio in LA, Ometusco Sound Machine in Mexico City, and Grand Street in New York. “It was actually a chill and relaxed process, because we were playing shows every day and were really in the music,” MANA says.

One song on the album, “Driving22,” directly draws from long days spent navigating the highways of foreign cities until the band arrives at their destination.
The YUUKI-penned lyrics distill the excitement of touring over a squelching rhythm section funkier than anything we’ve heard from CHAI before: “All skin colors gathering/ Imperfect sing-along (That’s so nice).”

“It’s not about winning or losing as competition, but about what you need to do, personally, to feel you’ve won.”

CHAI gets: 📷📷📷📷📷📷📷📷/10.