Sixty for 60: 9. Chai

To celebrate my 60th birthday, I asked my social media friends to nominate a favourite song from 2021 – 60 to commemorate the fact I am 60.

Today, it’s the turn of Collapse Board mainstay (and way talented musician and writer) Brigette Adair Herron to make a suggestion – ‘Donuts Mind If I Doby Chai. Now, I do wonder whether there may be a touch of an in-joke about her suggestion (‘Do Nuts’ being the song that Julie Burchill is most famous for singing on stage with Pearl Jam); and it’s a fantabulous offering, for sure. Like J-Pop and PC Music reimagined by a group of somnambulant Sonic Boom fans, all straining, soothing, higher-than-the-sun vocals and trippy hazy instrumentation that would have gone down a storm in Brisbane 2015. Just mind-blowing: all of a happenstance, my slump week has sunlight turned on it and the dust particles in the air are dancing, butterfly dancing. And I see that my pals from across the water, agree:

Since breaking out in 2018, CHAI have been associated with explosive joy. At their live shows, the Japanese four-piece of identical twins MANA (lead vocals and keys) and KANA (guitar), drummer YUNA, and bassist-lyricist YUUKI have become known for buoyant displays of eclectic and clever songwriting, impressive musicianship, matching outfits, delightful choreography, and sheer relief. At the core of their music, CHAI have upheld a stated mission to deconstruct the standards of beauty and cuteness that can be so oppressive in Japan. (Sub Pop press release, 2020)

However. My blog, my rules. All due respect to the totally awesome Brigette, but that is not the song I wish to share with you today. Nah nah nah. It’s this one: spooky and sampled and disorientating, and full of borderline psychosis. Recalls John Steel Singers and anyone else ever fallen in love with Krautrock they shouldn’t’ve. Reminds me of… what was their name again…Teen. (Sorry, can’t find what I wrote on them for ref. You know how difficult is it to Google ‘Teen’?)

God, this is great, St Vincent great.

As they sing:

You know how I feel about make-up?
I feel like make-up has the ability to allow you to be who you want to be.
It’s that super awesome, sparkling kind of magic!
Yes you can paint over with it, even recreate with it but… doesn’t that make it just like decorations?
The same as a cake no?
Because, I’m the original!
There’s no reason to become someone else right?
My color is only for me to decide! “what’s attractive to us?”, is something CHAI will MAKE♡ and of course eat as much CAKE as possible!
It’s this type of song! Take a listen〜

Makes me wanna go out and hang and dance and whirl round, lost in intoxication, lost in the music.

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