CHAI Release New Single/Video, “Maybe Chocolate Chips” (Feat. Ric Wilson)

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.  Ric added: “Super in love with this new song with CHAI, a song about loving yourself & understanding your beautiful no matter what oppressive societal norms are telling you is beautiful. I hope folks can wake up and jam this while they make their coffee, or enjoy just sitting outside an open field. This year we’ve all spent a little more time with ourselves, let’s find the beauty in it.”

CHAI elaborates on the video: “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?!♡⭐️♡” 

WATCH CHAI’S VIDEO FOR “MAYBE CHOCOLATE CHIPS” (FEAT. RIC WILSON)

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

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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