What’s Up with Chastity Belt?

Reviewed by: Josie Stahler

Photo via Kyle Johnson

I discovered Chastity Belt in 2017 when their latest single, “Dull,” came up on shuffle. As soon as the song flooded my ears, I knew I stumbled upon something amazing. The Washington-based band evokes a moody-girl rock, with a twinge of sarcastic humor. They were  my introduction to the world of indie music and made me feel instantly cool. I rediscovered them in quarantine on a search for nostalgia– and it got me thinking: what are they up to? 

Least to say, I fell down the research rabbit hole, and a lot has happened since! A bit over a year ago, September 20th to be exact, Julia Shapiro (vocals, guitar, drums), Lydia Lund (vocals, guitar), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals, guitar) and Annie Truscott (bass) released their self-titled album. Their fourth release as a band is a mellow and harmony-infused reflection on their growth with each other. 

Chastity Belt channels a new energy as they continue their journey as a band. The witty lyrical content from their previous work transitioned into wise reflections on the past. The record is especially emotional, as they had taken a small hiatus before this album to focus on their own work. Julia Shapiro spent this time developing a solo album, Perfect Version, which was later bought out by their record label, Hardly Art.

The album culminates into a space where the band can make music together and come to an understanding of themselves. My favorite tracks off the album are, “It Takes Time” and the final track, “Pissed Pants,” both of which are cool and collected pieces of advice made into a song. They’re the type of tracks to listen to when you feel down and need to feel a catharsis. Despite its funny title, the soothing chorus to “Pissed Pants,”  is a firm reassurance that everything happens the way it should.“You said so casually/ Everything just works out/ In time we’ll all be/ Surrounded by what guides us,”

In addition to celebrating their latest album’s anniversary, the band released a recorded live performance at KEXP studio that was filmed in February. In the session, they reflect on their ten year relationship as a band, and perform some tracks off their self-titled album. The band has also launched a Patreon, as being a musician in the time of COVID is unpredictable and strenuous. For five dollars a month, the band offers a look into unreleased demos, tutorials, and some cool merch.

It was exciting to look back on a band I listened to in years past. It is like going through a photo album, and remembering memories you had forgotten, but still love all the same. I dare you to listen to your music from years past, as well as give Chastity Belt a listen. Maybe you will  recall some happy times, or at least remember how amazing those bands actually are.

Listen to Chastity Belt on Spotify:

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