Last year, Seattle band Chastity Belt released its debut, Time to Go Home, on Hardly Art, a subsidiary of Sub Pop Records used to foster and grow interesting bands that might not otherwise be quite ready for prime time.
The album runs the gamut of Northwest indie rock: a little Riot Grrrl here, a little Nirvana there, a little Sleater-Kinney elsewhere. Listen closely and hear the guitar tone of REM’s Peter Buck on the song “Trapped.”
“We don’t really use many pedals,” Chastity Belt singer and guitarist Julia Shapiro tells EW. “It’s pretty clean and straightforward, with a little bit of reverb.”
“Cool Slut” is a misleadingly sweet, archly satirical power-pop ballad reclaiming the word slut as a way to respect a woman’s right to sexual desire. “To all the girls in the world/ Trying to take off their shirts,” Shapiro sings, “Ladies it’s okay to be/ It’s OK to be slutty, oh!”
“We met in college,” Shapiro says of her band members. “We’re all good friends and this was our first band, so we’ve sort of all grown into it together. We’re all really good at listening to each other and leaving space for each other.”
Last year Chastity Belt opened for acclaimed Australian musician Courtney Barnett. The Eugene show marks a return to the micro-venues where they started.
“It’s nice; I like playing smaller shows just as much as bigger ones,” Shapiro says.
While the Barnett tour might’ve given Chastity Belt a taste of the big time, they’ve yet to achieve the band’s biggest rock star dream: appearing on reality TV show The Bachelor.
Shapiro explains: “Gretchen [Grimm, drummer] was telling me about this episode where one of the dates they went on was to a private Cranberries concert — pretty cool.”
Chastity Belt plays with Eugene’s VCR, The Critical Shakes and The Shifts 7 pm Sunday, Feb. 28, at The Boreal; $10. All ages.