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Hear When Chai Met Toast’s Shimmering Turn to the Dancefloor on ‘Maybe I Can Fly’

The Kerala folk/indie act are plotting to release their debut full-length album ‘When We Feel Young’ later this year

Anurag Tagat Jul 14, 2020

Kerala folk/indie band When Chai Met Toast. Photo: Athul Prasad

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Over the last few years, Kochi folk/indie band When Chai Met Toast have been on plenty of big stages across the country. Even as recently as late last year and in early 2020, they were stomping about the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, SulaFest in Nashik and Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune and its express edition on home ground in Kochi. Vocalist Ashwin Gopakumar says, “Every time we play to a large audience, we feel like we want to make them dance.”

Their latest single, the exuberant “Maybe I Can Fly,” does just that. Infused with synth work from Palee Francis and boisterous drum work from Pai Sailesh, When Chai Met Toast’s new sound for the first song off their forthcoming debut album When We Feel Young recalls the likes of The 1975 and Coldplay. Guitarist Achyuth Jaigopal stays true to the distinct banjo notes, but also brings out stadium-sized guitar riffs for pop-rock. “This whole stadium sound has been lingering around for a while. There’s always a whole, ‘Should we add electric guitars to this?’ It used to come from everyone in the band so we wanted to see how it would sound,” Gopakumar says.

Jaigopal, who was at the Berklee College of Music in Valencia last year, picked up an electric guitar as well as a charango, which is influencing the diversity on When We Feel Young. While “Maybe I Can Fly” comes across as the band’s dancefloor takeover, there’s more singles that showcase different sides to the band. “There’s one we recorded today that’s really intimate but part of the larger soundscape as well. We wanted to try out whatever we could with the instruments we had and the sound we were moving in,” Gopakumar says.

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With this single out and another due in August, there’s still something of a wait and watch strategy that the band are currently following. Jaigopal mentions that the original plan was to release the album in June, followed by tours starting in September. “Either way, we didn’t want to push back the release too much from our end. Once we have something, it’s more of an urge to put it out there,” the guitarist says. Gopakumar adds that releasing an album was always a milestone that When Chai Met Toast wanted to reach, following their two EPs Joy of Little Things (2017) and Believe (2018). He says, “We’re old-school to push out an album, so we’ll release it once the three singles are out.”

Watch the lyric video for “Maybe I Can Fly” below. Stream on more platforms here.

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