Japanese quartet CHAI have gone fully digital on their latest single. “PING PONG!’ comes ahead of their third album WINK, out May 21 on Sub Pop.
“PING PONG!” is the band’s fifth single this year, with each one putting a new spin on the band’s brand of indie rock. In the past, we’ve seen dance and lo-fi flavorings to their cutesy-cool sound, but this latest remote collaboration with 8-bit pop trio YMCK feels like the perfect marriage for CHAI’s quirky charm. The accompanying visual finds the band in pixelated cartoon form as a nostalgic chiptune beat complements Yuuki’s charming, clipped lyrical style.
CHAI spoke of their inspiration for “PING PONG!” in a statement:
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 elaborated on the collaboration:
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!
Check out the music video for “PING PONG!” below. You can preorder WINK here.