Hardly Art

Chastity Belt’s energy is like a circuit, circling around the silly and the sincere. Tongue-in-cheek shit-shooting and existential rumination feed into each other infinitely.

Theirs is a long-term relationship, and that loop sustains them. That’s a creative thesis in and of itself, but isn’t that also just the mark of a true-blue friendship?

The band talks a lot about intention these days—how to be more present with each other. The four piece—Julia Shapiro (vocals, guitar, drums), Lydia Lund (vocals, guitar), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals, guitar) and Annie Truscott (bass)—is nine years deep in this, after all. It seems now, more than ever, that circuit is a movement of intentionality, one that creates a space inside which they can be themselves, among themselves. It’s a space where the euphoria of making music with your best friends is protected from the outside world’s churning expectations. It’s a kind of safe zone for the band to occupy as their best selves: a group of friends who love each other.

Their fourth record, Chastity Belt, comes out of that safe space. After a restorative few months on hiatus in 2018, each member worked on solo material or toured with other bands. “So much of the break was reminding ourselves to stay present, and giving ourselves permission to stop without saying when were gonna meet up again,” says guitarist Lydia Lund. “It was so important to have that—not saying, ‘we’re gonna get back together at this point,’ but really just open it up so we could get back to our present connection.”

Their experience navigating adult life within the strange seasons of the music industry has Chastity Belt orienting themselves towards whatever gets them to feel the most present with each other, in any part of the band grind. With the luxury of spending several weeks in the studio with Jay Som’s Melina Duterte, Chastity Belt was able to experiment. The new self-titled album is the work of the band playing “old songs, and trying new things on top of it,” like adding more dynamic harmonies and violin, says bassist Annie Truscott. Lydia, Gretchen, and Julia all share lead vocals on different tracks on the album. The result is their most sonically developed and nuanced record yet; one that’s not only a product of, but a series of reflections on what it means to take what you need and to understand yourself better. 

Many of Chastity Belt’s signature dynamics, from the silly to the sincere, have read as feminist gestures: the Cool Slut DGAF-iness, the shrugging off of the “women in rock” press gargle, the fundamentally punk act of creating music on your own as a woman, and being lyrically forthright. What the making of Chastity Belt reveals is that the band has tapped into a deeper tradition of women making art on their terms: the act of self-preservation in favor of the long game. In favor of each other. In this cultural moment, taking space like this to prioritize the love over the product seems progressive. Chastity Belt’s intentions have resulted in an album deeply expressive of four people’s commitment to what they love most: making music with each other.


On Tour

  • Sun, Oct 20
    Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Mon, Oct 21
    brighton, United Kingdom
  • Wed, Oct 23
    The Joiners
    Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Thu, Oct 24
    London , United Kingdom
  • Wed, Nov 6
    University of Wisconsin
    Madison, WI
  • Thu, Nov 7
    Bloomington, IN
  • Fri, Nov 8
    Detroit, MI
  • Sat, Nov 9
    Toronto, Canada
  • Mon, Nov 11
    Burlington, Vermont
  • Tue, Nov 12
    Boston, MA
  • Wed, Nov 13
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Thu, Nov 14
    First Unitarian Church
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Fri, Nov 15
    Washington, DC
  • Sat, Nov 16
    Durham, NC
  • Sun, Nov 17
    Asheville, NC
  • Tue, Nov 19
    Atlanta, GA
  • Wed, Nov 20
    The High Watt
    Nashville, TN
  • Thu, Nov 21
    Chicago, IL
  • Sat, Nov 23
    St. Paul, MN
  • Mon, Nov 25
    The Good Will Social Club
    Winnipeg, Canada
  • Wed, Feb 5
    Portland, OR
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Fri, Feb 7
    Reno, NV
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Sat, Feb 8
    Great American Music Hall
    San Francisco, CA
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Sun, Feb 9
    Catalyst Club Atrium
    Santa Cruz, CA
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Tue, Feb 11
    Las Vegas, NV
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Wed, Feb 12
    Lodge Room
    Los Angeles, CA
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Thu, Feb 13
    Constellation Room
    Santa Ana, , CA
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Fri, Feb 14
    The Casbah
    San Diego, CA
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Sat, Feb 15
    Tuscon, AZ
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Sun, Feb 16
    El Paso, TX
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Tue, Feb 18
    Austin, TX
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Wed, Feb 19
    San Antonio, TX
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Thu, Feb 20
    The Satellite
    Houston, TX
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Fri, Feb 21
    Deep Ellum Art Society
    Dallas, TX
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Sun, Feb 23
    Bluebird Theater - (CO)
    Denver, CO
    (w/ Loose Teeth)
  • Fri, Feb 28
    Seattle, WA
    (w/ Loose Teeth)