Chastity Belt

Julia Shapiro

Julia Shapiro is part of the excellent Seattle band, Chastity Belt. After pulling out of a Chastity Belt tour in 2018 due to some health issues, Shapiro suffered an “existential crisis.” That led her to do something she’d always wanted to do – record and mix her own album. Perfect Vision will see the light of day on June 14th via the fine folks of Hardly Art. Here’s some more info from the press release.

Shapiro has a knack for turning simple images into something profound, drawing influence from songwriters like Elliott Smith to capture complicated moods. The everyday act of circling the block trying to find a parking spot becomes a metaphor for trying and feeling like you can’t quite get anything done. “All my problems feel like paper/I can finally rip them up,” she sings on the title track, describing a moment of lightness in hanging out with friends who can find humor in your failure “at least I have my friends to laugh at what I’ve done.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Julia is here

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I first caught wind of Chastity Belt two year ago at SXSW. Stumbled across a set at Cheer Up Charlies as I was walking out of catching a set by Hinda. They’ve got a new album coming out in June via the fine folks at Hardly Art. Check out the video, an excellent homage to Temple Of The Dog’s legendary video for Hunger STrike. Here’s some info on the album and check them out at SXSW.

A few years ago, while in a tour van somewhere in Idaho, the members of Chastity Belt—Julia Shapiro, Gretchen Grimm, Lydia Lund, and Annie Truscott—opted to pass the time in a relatively unusual fashion: They collectively paid one another compliments, in great and thoughtful detail. This is what we like best about you, this is why we love you.

I think of that image all the time, the four of them opening themselves up like that, by choice. It’s hard to imagine other bands doing the same. But beyond their troublesome social media presence—see: the abundance of weapons-grade duck face, the rolling suitcase art—and beyond the moonlit deadpan of say, “IDC,” lies, at the very least, an honesty and an intimacy and an emotional brilliance that galvanizes everything they do together. Which is a fancy way of saying: They’re funny, but they’re also capable of being vulnerable. “Giant Vagina” and “Pussy Weed Beer,” two highlights from their aptly titled 2013 debut, No Regerts, were immediately preceded by a sublime yet easily overlooked cut named “Happiness.” I saw a younger, still unsettling version of myself all across 2015’s Time to Go Home.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Chastity Belt are here

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