CHAI with Stef Smith (Varsity)


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For our fifth consecutive year there, the Talkhouse Podcast crew flew out to the fantastic Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago this past July to record artists in conversation backstage.

Over the years, this series has featured talks between Brian Wilson & Carly Rae Jepsen, Frankie Cosmos & Vagabon, Priests with LCD Soundsystem's Tyler Pope, and many more.

This week’s show is our second from the fest this year (the first was Tasha & Lillie West of Lala Lala), and it's Talkhouse's first ever bilingual conversation! In this episode, all four members of Nagoya, Japan's CHAI — whose "neo-kawaii" post-punk-pop record Punk is one of our favorites of the year — talk to Stef Smith from the stellar Chicago-based indie pop band Varsity.

With the help of CHAI's translator Rena, they chat about what it’s like touring in a country where you don’t speak the language (and how that’s actually been a good thing for CHAI when it comes to getting interviewed); the real, unexpected danger of being interviewed by Nardwuar; and why dogs make such great musical inspiration. They also cover where to find the best deep dish in Chicago — controversial! — and the food Nagoya is famous for.

Check it out, and subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes of the Talkhouse Podcast!

—Annie Fell, Talkhouse Senior Editor

This episode was recorded by Joe Darnaby and Mark Yoshizumi, and co-produced by Mark Yoshizumi, Annie Fell, and Elia Einhorn.

Our theme song was composed and performed by The Range.

Big thanks to Pitchfork Music Festival for hosting Talkhouse!

299 episodes