"You're hard on yourself / you can't always be right / all those little things that keep you up at night..." Chastity Belt is the band we need right now. They're music for girls in pussy hats and cutesy sushi sweatshirts, all at once sincere and whimsical, occasionally overwhelmed by the increasingly daunting task that is being a woman in 2017.
The girls have grown up a little on this album, with a maturing sound and lyrical tone, but they haven't lost their edge. "I had a drink and ate some stuff / now I'm already bored," Julia Shapiro groans on "Complain." It's a lament too many of us know as we get older, trying to force the fun of our youth when we'd rather be doing anything else, and a far cry from 2013's "(Giant) Vagina" and a logical extension of 2015's marvelous and melodic "Joke."
Their jangly, post-punk melodies are moody and intoxicating, tinged with the melancholy of modern life. And to listen to their music is to be invited to the coolest party with the coolest girls you know. It is occasionally obtuse and easy to get lost in, but that's part of the fun.
More than anything, their third album I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone feels like a secret message, a sleepover, a whisper between best friends. It's an album that so wholly celebrates the complications of growing older ("5am" nails this the hardest, with sublime, Johnny Marr-esque guitars). But for as moody as the lyrics are, it's clear from the underplayed cheekiness of songs like "It's Obvious" and "Caught in a Lie" that the girls enjoy playing together. This sense of togetherness permeates and elevates the album to a larger staying power. We may all grow older, but Chastity Belt has created an album that will remain timeless.
Notable Tracks: “Caught in a Lie” | “Complain” | “Different Now”
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