A new year means a fresh start for most people. J-pop artist Chara says she feels similarly heading into 2023, but she attributes her positive mindset to an ancient flower rather than a newly purchased calendar.

“Scientists found the tissue of a flower that was buried in deep permafrost in Siberia for 32,000 years, and they were able to make it bloom again,” the 54-year-old artist tells The Japan Times. A longtime lover of all things floral, the story of Silene stenophylla's rebirth inspired her deeply.

That white flower serves as the partial genesis for “A·O·U” (which stands for “all of you). Her first single with Nippon Colombia, her new label, Chara made the track with assistance from longtime collaborator mabanua and mastering by American engineer Mike Bozzi (a regular go-to for Western acts such as Doja Cat and Kendrick Lamar). The song is funky, dappled with electronic notes that signal a fresh sonic path for a creator who has dabbled in a little bit of everything over her 30-plus-year career.