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New CHAI: “Great Job”

In case you missed it, CHAI were profiled in Pitchfork a couple weeks back, capping off a year that has seen them slowly but surely make inroads outside Japan (hey, I wrote about ’em too!). They really show the way forward for Japanese acts in a post-BTS world — along with Haru Nemuri, they point towards a path where it’s artists with more underground tendencies (regardless if they are underground…CHAI is a Sony act, after all) can stand out from Japan, which can offer an alternative to the authenticity-tinged perfection of K-pop (mainly, J-pop itself probably can’t go head to head).

So! “Great Job” is CHAI’s first new song in a bit, and it is…on brand for the quartet. It’s a bit sneakier message-wise to decode — it is about housecleaning, with lines about cleaning dust and taking out garbage. At times it sounds sort of determined, but then again you get a part where they sing “housework, it’s a great job” and then let out an evil laugh. More direct is how this is right in the band’s wheelhouse, featuring all sorts of distorted voices in the back, which creep in to disrupt the talk-sing verses. This is left-of-center sounds — specifically, via those keyboard melodies squanking up throughout, of Have A Nice Day! and similar Loft-centric groups — made just a little more accessible to a wider audience. That is the goal, after all. Listen above.