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New CHAI: “Center Of The Face!”

When you need songs about gyoza, fried foods or the various personal complexes that hover over people on a daily basis, Chai has you covered. And now, their latest song celebrates a part of the body central to…the face. “Center Of The Face!” honors the nose, both lyrically and via the smartphone-optimized video featuring a lot of zoom ups on honers. Their lyrical oddball tendencies remain one of the defining elements of CHAI, and place them in a great history of Japanese artists whose focus on more left-field topics has helped them get attention at home and abroad —- it’s not a stretch to bring up names like Shonen Knife or Cibbo Matto, while some more contemporary references include Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and Suiyoubi No Campanella. So it’s a semi-silly song about noses that also further moves the sticks on their whole “Neo Kawaii” thing, what with it’s celebration of a body part often derided by many (as someone with a big ol’ nose, I appreciate this one). Yet don’t let the words distract from the music, a slow-burning builder that uses synth washes and fuzzy drum hits to build up surprising drama, which flows over at the chorus, complete with some nice spoken word. Listen above.