While it still seems most Asian music that isn't K-pop has a nigh impossible time crossing over towards Western audiences, a select few bands have been valiantly trudging forward. Say Sue Me found victory with last year's Where We Were Together and numerous EPs and singles, but just as exciting was an all-female explosion hailing from Japan.

CHAI were simply too much damn fun not to cross over. The ladies that make up the foursome offer, really and truly, pure joy. Their addicting brand of garage pop meets indie rock enthralled plenty of new fans, including this writer. While the international reissue of PINK makes it seem as if their sophomore follow up has arrived with lightning speed, their debut had in fact been available in their home country since 2017.

In the time since, CHAI have grown tired of the kawaii box placed around them. True, their irrepressible sweetness has worked wonders for them, but they're ready for more. CHAI are now PUNK.

Naturally, you shouldn't expect a sharp turn into Clash-like territory: "PUNK’ for us, of course, is not the genre of music. ‘PUNK’ to us is to overturn the worn-out values associated with ‘kawaii’ or ‘cute’ created up until this point. ‘PUNK’ is a word that expresses a strong sense of self. To be yourself more, to become the person you truly want to be, to believe in yourself in every instance!”, say the band.

Naturally, they haven't lost an ounce of their positivity and wondrously joyful outlook, but it sounds like we can expect some resistance from the tidy niche we've collectively placed them in. Give new track 'Fashionista' a spin below.

Look out for PUNK come March 15th.