£23.99 – 1xLP, Limited Edition Cloudy Vinyl with Poster (plus DL Code)
In Chastity Belt’s decade-plus together, the four-piece Julia Shapiro (guitar, vocals), Lydia Lund (guitar, vocals), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals), and Annie Truscott (bass, vocals)—have created a resonant body of work. Live Laugh Love is a natural continuation.
Chastity Belt has never shied from navigating the spectrum of difficult emotions, and they continue to weave an existential thread through their subject matter. Yet, the songs on Live Laugh Love feel more grounded; there’s a sense of quiet confidence and self-assurance that comes with being less numb and more present. This album finds the members in their prime as musicians. Their parts trace intricate patterns over one another, but there’s room to breathe between the layers. Everyone contributes to the writing, sometimes switching instruments, and for the first time, all four members sing a song.
Against the bizarre backdrop of the past few years, Chastity Belt remained a supportive space for the members to grow and experiment, drawing on the ingredients most essential to their process since the beginning: authenticity and levity. Recorded over three sessions in as many years (January 2020, November 2021 and 2022), the focus became more about enjoying their time together in the studio than making it feel like work. Their ease and familiarity with engineer Samur Khouja in LA, made for a particularly enjoyable process, and once completed, they returned to renowned engineer Heba Kadry to master the album.
Album opener “Hollow” sets the tone with a gently driving rhythm while guitar layers stream like sun rays through an open car window. A warmth radiates through Shapiro’s voice, even while grappling with feeling lost and stuck. “Laugh” seeks in the balm of friendship, aware of the anticipatory nostalgia that hits during a good time that you’re already missing before it’s gone; the heavier guitar tones on “Chemtrails” streak ominous chord progressions over Grimm’s precision timekeeping, lamenting memories that won’t fade easily. Another standout, “I-90 Bridge” shines with a silvery melody that soars as Lund belts one of the most resounding moments on the album: “Tell your girlfriend she’s got nothing to fear/I’m set in my head/My body’s a different story.”
4. It’s Cool
9. 1-90 Bridge
11. Like That