Chastity Belt conjure up a dream on their eponymous album

Chastity Belt eponymous albumIf you're instantly suspicious when a band chooses an eponymous title well into their career, don't worry. Chastity Belt are quick to ease concerns on their new album. It unfolds like the tendrils of a dream that slowly linger around a morning coffee. Without losing their sense of cleverness, Chastity Belt find a more relaxed sound and a cohesive vibe that stretches over the entire album.

A classic headphones album that takes time to reveal itself, Chastity Belt are no longer trying to get to the undefined 'somewhere' that fuels the spirit of youth. At some point, the band came to the realisation there's no end destination and that all that surrounds us is all that there will ever be. Glances to the past, glazed in melancholy, permeate the lyrics throughout. This is perfectly realised on “Ann’s Jam” which remembers driving in a parent's car listening to scratched CDs.

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Disillusionment might be too strong of a word to describe the mood ,but there's definitely a sense of fading energy embodied in the slower arrangements. In that sense, the eponymous title marks this as a debut work by a new incarnation of the same band. Sleater-Kinney are fully aware of how fragile such a move can be, given the backlash to their beautiful new album, but Chastity Belt are'nt burdened by such heavy expectations. If anything, this album represents an evolution from someone you are happy to cross paths with from time to time into a needed friend you seek out.

The band’s politics might sound more subdued but songs like “Elena” are full of empathy and sharp details. Much like Ani DiFranco, the band has learned that volume and anger aren’t the only way to make your point and the message carries more power as a result. Producer Melina Mae Duterte (Jay Som) guides the band throughout, crafting exquisite atmospheres around the guitars. While it might be the most subdued Chastity Belt album to date, this record promises to stay with us longer than their previous work.

Release: 20th September 2019, Hardly Art
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