Featuring Julia Shapiro on guitar and vocals, Lydia Lund on guitar, Annie Truscott on bass, and Gretchen Grimm on drums, the band tackles women’s issues with equal parts earnesness and irony. Some of Chastity Belt’s tracks are explicit feminist anthems like “Cool Slut” off Time to Go Home (2015), but others find their power in the everyday realities and emotions that come along with existing as a woman under the heteropatriarchy.
“Caught in a Lie,” a track off their most recent album I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone (2017), is a perfect example of one of Chastity Belt’s more subtle lyrical acts of resistance. The song makes some implicit references to gaslighting and emotional abuse, particularly in the opening verse where Shapiro laments “The story’s writing me, but the facts are false. What good does truth bring,” leading into a shouted chorus of “Is this what you want? Is this who you want me to be?” which finally achieves catharsis after the tension built in the first verse. As Shapiro’s lyrics criticize a loss of personal control, her voice becomes more wild and emotional while, in contrast, the rest of the band remains tight and controlled behind her.
Chastity Belt is just one of many great bands on this year’s Phono del Sol lineup. Check out some of our other coverage of Phono del Sol as we team up with Noise Pop to bring you a free summer festival.