Album review: Chastity Belt, “I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone”

by Jon E. Lynch

Chastity Belt, “I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone”Available: Friday, June 2, via Hardly Art Records in various formats: Digital download, compact disc, limited-edition cassette tape, and limited-edition version of the album pressed on a “limited colored vinyl.” I imagine a standard black version will also be available.

Chastity Belt formed in Walla Walla, Washington, in 2010 when the band members met at Whitman College. Made of up Childbirth front woman Julie Shapiro (lead vocals, guitar), the band also includes Lydia Lund (lead guitar), Annie Truscott (bass) and Gretchen Grimm (drums). “I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone” will be the band’s third full-length, and their second for Seattle-based Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art. Back in 2015, the band made a record (“Time to Go Home”) that appeared at or near the top of my year-end retrospective, along with those others who consider themselves fans of indie-soaked post-punk.

Following up a record of that ilk is no small feat, but the quartet manages to do so quite nicely. They are not diverging too far, if at all, from the sounds of their sophomore effort and thankfully so. This latest LP sounds like an album of friends hitting their stride in total control of their future and enjoying every minute of it. Do not take Shapiro’s vocal style as any sort of downer; the songs are perfectly and beautifully suited to her flat, seemingly deadpan delivery. After a handful of further listens, I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised to find “I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone” jockeying for position alongside some of the other killer releases at year’s end.

For fans of Tacocat, Grass Widow, Sleater-Kinney, Childbirth, Electrelane, Daddy Issues, or Beach House

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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