LISTEN: Chastity Belt – ‘Elena’

Dreamy, overlapping vocals and lush guitar sounds permeate ‘Elena’, the new single from GIHEs faves Chastity Belt. The track is taken from their fourth self-titled album which is set for release on 20th September via Hardly Art records, and Milk! records in Australia and New Zealand.

It’s a subtle, personal song inspired by the band’s love of author Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, which they all read over the course of last year. Bassist Annie Truscott explains further: “We individually related to the ways in which the main character’s sense of self is inextricably linked to her desire for love and validation, both from lovers and friends. The overlapping voices on top of the whimsical wave-like instrumentals captures the universal feeling of having a conversation with yourself about yourself.”

After taking a break from band life and pursuing their own solo endeavours, it seems that Julia Shapiro (vocals, guitar, drums), Lydia Lund (vocals, guitar), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals, guitar) & Annie Truscott (bass) have been refreshed by their time apart, which ironically seems to have brought them closer together. The band co-produced their new album with Melina Duterte (aka Jay Som), which sees them sharing lead vocals on different tracks, and working with different instruments such as violin (played by Annie), cello, trumpet and keyboards.

“I feel like this record is a really good representation of who we all are, and I feel like we’re at a point where we’ve really come into our own” explains Julia. New single ‘Elena’ sounds like the sweetest taste of what’s to come from a band who value time, authenticity, and celebrating long-term friendship both on and off stage.

Listen to ‘Elena’ below and follow Chastity Belt on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order your copy of Chastity Belt’s new self-titled album here.

Chastity Belt’s 2019 UK Tour Dates (with GANG)
Oct 13 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
Oct 15 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Oct 16 – Manchester, UK @ YES
Oct 17 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
Oct 19 – Oxford, UK @ Ritual Union
Oct 20 – Cardiff, UK @ SWN Festival
Oct 21 – Brighton, UK @ Patterns
Oct 23 – Southampton, UK @ The Joiners
Oct 24 – London, UK @ Islington Assembly Hall

Photo by Beto Brakmo

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Julia Shapiro – ‘A Couple Highs’

“When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything” explains Julia Shapiro about her upcoming debut solo album Perfect Version, which is set for release on June 14th via Hardly Art. Having taken a step back from life as Chastity Belt’s vocalist & guitarist after a difficult year, Shapiro has returned with the second single from her new record titled ‘A Couple Highs’; and it’s a breezy, soothing drop of aural medicine.

The track is accompanied by a set of visuals directed by Claire Buss, and is a subtle homage to Kelly Reichardt’s 2008 film Wendy and Lucy, showing Shapiro and her canine doppelganger explore the quiet beauty of suburban Seattle. Shimmering guitars and Shapiro’s gentle voice make the track a real tonic for the ears, and the knowledge that Shapiro played all the instruments herself makes for extra listening satisfaction.

Over the course of a tumultuous year of trying to find stability amidst depression and surgery, Shapiro ultimately rediscovered the parts of music that she loved through the process, and it shines through on her latest single. Watch the video for ‘A Couple Highs’ below and follow Julia on Twitter for more updates.

Pre-order your copy of Julia Shapiro’s Perfect Vision here.

Photo Credit: Eleanor Petry

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Julia Shapiro – ‘Natural’

Known as the singer/guitarist in Chastity Belt, Julia Shapiro has now shared ‘Natural’, a taster track from her debut solo album.

As befits a track from an album due to be released in June, ‘Natural’ is pastoral and dreamy, reminiscent of sunny summer days spent running across fields. The guitars are pleasantly jangly, the vocals drawled.

Like so many modern day artists, Shapiro has emerged from a period of ill health and introspection to reflect on self awareness and self improvement. Recording an album of homespun songs, self produced, where she plays almost all of the instruments herself has been a part of this. ‘Natural’ is the opening track on the forthcoming album and, judging from this summery slice of indie, listeners are in for a treat.

Perfect Version, the debut solo album from Julia Shapiro, is due to be released on 14th June via Hardly Art.

 

Cazz Blase
@CazzBlase

Preview & Playlist: Visions Festival Announces Further Acts

With The Great Escape kicking off this weekend, we’re all getting well and truly in the mood for festival season!

Our favourite East London festival, Visions, is back for its sixth year on Saturday 4th August, and has now announced even more fantastic acts to add to their line up, in addition to the first wave.

Taking place across different warehouse venues, arts spaces and churches in London Fields, Visions promotes an eclectic array of new music, as well as a host of craft beers, street food stalls, record fairs, and even a dog show!

Now, to add to the likes of Chastity Belt, Duds, Girlhood and Sampa The Great, Visions have added a host of new artists to the bill, including Marika Hackman, Yak, Sorry, Lone and No Age, as well as announcing Milk – a club night curated by Foals’ Yannis Phillipakis.

In addition, Visions is thrilled to announce that FUCKED UP will return to the UK on Friday 3rd August to play a special Visions Presents Friday event with special guests to be announced. This will be the band’s first London show in 3 years, ahead of them releasing their eagerly anticipated new album.

It’s clearly going to be another stellar year. See the full line up so far and ticket info at the Visions Festival website.

And, if you can’t wait until August, have a listen to our handy (newly updated!) playlist of our favourites from the line up:

PREVIEW: Visions Festival Announces First Wave Of Artists

Our favourite East London festival is back for its sixth year on Saturday 4th August, and has now announced the first wave artists to be playing – it’s looking pretty amazing already!

Taking place across different warehouse venues, arts spaces and churches in London Fields, Visions promotes an eclectic array of new music, as well as a host of craft beers, street food stalls, record fairs, and even a dog show!

From the frenzied punk of the likes of Chastity Belt and Idles, to the soulful sounds of Girlhood and Sampa The Great, it’s going to be another stellar year.  See the full line up so far and ticket info at the Visions Festival website.

And, if you can’t wait until August, have a listen to our handy playlist of all the artists announced so far (and give it a follow to keep track of us adding new artists as they’re announced)!

 

Mari Lane
@marimindles