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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2017 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 20, 2019 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 23, 2015 | Hardly Art

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Punk / New Wave - Released August 13, 2013 | Help Yourself Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 20, 2019 | Hardly Art

Chastity Belt haven't really changed that much since they released their first album, No Regerts, in 2013, but the changes they have made mean a great deal. Where they previously sounded at once rough and languid, they've grown into a band whose instrumental interplay is artful without seeming pretentious, and the dry snarky wit that was a large part of their early work has faded into the middle distance as their lyrics explore more personal and introspective themes. 2019's Chastity Belt, the group's self-titled fourth album, is still clearly the work of the same band, but this music doesn't shout, it insinuates, and the tone of the conversation is intelligent and unguarded. On Chastity Belt, Julia Shapiro's lyrics are full of musings about her life and her circumstances dotted with details about CDs that skip in the car, needing a new bike, or the judgmental look from a friend who knows you're hung over. The stories feel honest, and are more effective for it. There are moments on Chastity Belt where the volume and distortion turn up and add some dynamic texture to the melodies (especially on "It Takes Time"), but even when this music drifts along on its own momentum, the guitar patterns from Shapiro and Lydia Lund -- drummer Gretchen Grimm also adds guitar on a few tracks -- mesh beautifully, with the whole much more than the individual parts. With Grimm and bassist Annie Truscott holding down the bottom end with a subtle but sure hand, this is music that takes its time but is never less than absorbing and rewards repeated listening. Chastity Belt's musical evolution has been a fascinating and rewarding thing to witness, and this may be their smartest and most compelling music to date. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 31, 2020 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 2, 2017 | Hardly Art

Chastity Belt have chosen to dive headfirst into maturity on their third album, 2017's I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, which seems somehow antithetical for a band that titled its debut album No Regerts. But from the first track onward, it's clear this band has set out in a different direction; the punky energy of its early work has subsided, as has the goofy sense of humor that once marked its lyrics. This time out, lead vocalist Julia Shapiro has turned her lyrical gaze inward, discussing her anxieties, her doubts, and her troubles relating to others, and while there are still glimmers of razor-sharp wit to be found in these tunes, it's obvious that this time around, she isn't kidding. Considering the level of cheerful snot on their debut album, Shapiro's openness, vulnerability, and bursts of bitterness feel remarkably brave, as she bares her soul without hesitation. And as the lyrics reveal a different side of Chastity Belt, the music on I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone is more measured and contemplative than before. These melodies are dominated by cool, understated indie rock, with Shapiro and Lydia Lund weaving their guitar figures into a whole that's more than the sum of its parts, and bassist Annie Truscott and drummer Gretchen Grimm drive these performances with understated force, whether the mood is languid (on "It's Obvious") or fierce ("5am"). If Chastity Belt are a different band on their third album, they're still strong, passionate, and compelling, and this music engages the listener with its intelligence, honesty, and lean but muscular sound. Growing up is working out well for Chastity Belt, and I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone is clever, satisfying proof. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 4, 2015 | Hardly Art

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 6, 2015 | Hardly Art