Japan’s soft rock band, CHAI, is back
Based out of Nagoya, Japan, CHAI was formed by twin sisters Mana and Kana with the later addition of bandmates Yuna and Yukki in 2012. With Japanese Rock and J-pop influences within their music, CHAI considers themselves a Neo-kawaii band. When comparing them to the rest of the music scene in Japan, CHAI tilts away from the typical polish and clean-cut sound of the big acts in Japanese pop. Instead, the band claims influences from groups like Basement Jaxx and Gorillaz – which saw them featured on their 2020 album Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez. Their career really started to gain momentum soon after moving to Tokyo and winning a competition to perform at Japan Nite at SXSW in Austin. As a result, Sony Music added them to their roster of artists.
WHOLE is straight from the 90’s west coast
Now, after their 3rd studio album, Wink, released last year the band is beginning a new era. WHOLE is the first release by CHAI in 2022 and follows the group’s common theme of empowerment and acceptance. Bandmember Yuuki says about the song that “our differences may not be our enemies. I wish we could love each other’s little differences and little similarities entirely.” With Mana as the primary vocalist in CHAI, she sing that sentiment over nostalgic soft sonics. The very easy-to-listen to track is covered in west coast influences like surf rock and sunshine pop. This is a pivot from the heavily psychedelic sounds of their previous project. Nonetheless, the track still conjures up bright, bubbly, and warm emotions – something the group does perfectly within their music.
The band debuts the song for a new Japanese rom-com
Additionally, WHOLE serves as the theme song for a new romantic-comedy drama series in Japan. Japan’s public broadcaster NHK debuted the show Koi-senu Futari on January 10th with CHAI’s new track accompanying it. The show is based around an aromantic and asexual pair who struggle with what people know as “falling in love.” With a motto like “everyone is cute in their own way” CHAI is the best choice for music on such a show. In collaboration with Koi-senu Futari, influences from the storyline of the show help to create the message within the single. Watch the trailer here!