Photos By: Summer Luu
By: Connor Cox
Quirky attire, college-humored lyrics, and attitudes of bliss. The girls behind Chastity Belt are free spirits that care about one thing: having fun. After all, the band did began as joke during their college years. However, the band has grown much more than that now. Frontwoman Julia Shapiro explained in a 2015 interview with Paste Magazine, “I think that’s part of the reason we started as a joke, was cause we thought we needed to be a joke in order to get that attention.” And with an abundance of edgy lyrics about female anatomy, driven by recklessly strummed bar chords, these girls have done just that.
The Seattle-based indie darlings are embarking on a brief west coast tour, warming up for a busy 2016. Last Wednesday Chastity Belt performed at Soda Bar, opening for Protomartyr. The post-punk headliners were excellent, but Chastity Belt was the center of our attention that night. And I think it’s safe to say that most of the audience attended specifically for Chastity Belt as well.
Their performance that night was far from the ironic persona they typically deliver. As if they’ve used the band’s ironic aesthetic that Shapiro mentions in the Paste interview as a vehicle to be taken more seriously. The setlist was matured for a wider audience and shied away from vulgar titles like “Pussy Weed Beer”, “Giant Vagina” or rawer sounding tracks like “The Thing”. Instead the 50-minute performance felt like a greatest hits set, consisting of only songs from Time to Go Home, which is undoubtedly the band’s cleanest and most accessible material. But even for being more “serious”, the four-piece were having a great time.
There’s something special about Chastity Belt. Something original and non-desperate about their sound that is so prevalent in Time to Go Home. They aren’t trying to fit the mold of a genre or subscribe to a statement. They’re making music because they’re having fun.