When you hear the words Live Laugh Love, you probably think of the insufferable self-affirmation posters, doormats, and other memorabilia that is designed to be as 100% overbearingly positive as possible. Chastity Belts version of this popular phrase is much more endearing. With the four-piece using it with a wink and a nod and exploring a sound that it feels like they have been building towards for years.

The band consists of Julia Shapiro (vocals, guitarist), Lydia Lund (guitar, vocals), Gretchen Grimm (drums, vocals), and Annie Truscott (bass, vocals), all delivering a tour de force on this new album. You may remember the band from indie staples such as the song ‘Cool Slut,’ from 2015’s I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone’ or their dreamy self-titled record from 2019.

The title of this new record comes from what started as an in-joke from within the band. This eventually developed into something much deeper and more meaningful. Recorded across multiple sessions over three years, this record presents a further sonic and lyrical evolution from them.

Hollow’ sets the tone for the record, providing lush guitar work and pleasant vocals. The album as a whole is a very consistent experience, with subtle shifts in the production and tempo that help distinguish the songs that could otherwise all sound very similar. The band explores this sound to the fullest while including witty and clever wordplay along the way.

Standouts on the album include the lush single ‘Chemtrails,’ which trades heavier guitar chords off against vocals from Shapiro about memories that won’t fade like chemtrails, “Moments move like chemtrails in my mind.” This is simple yet excellent wordplay that feels like it comes with so much ease.

‘It’s cool’ is another cut that has a sonic shift, with guitar licks that sound very present, along with excellent yet subtle drumming by Gretchen Grimm. Of the many highlights on the project is ‘Blue,’ which builds to a swell of instrumentation and band vocals that lift the song into the stratosphere where it belongs.

I90 Bridge’ has one of the best melodies on the album, with its soaring production and wistful lyrics often make for extremely pleasant and melancholic listening. Album closer ‘Like That’ offers more dreamlike melodies to close out the record and leaves the listener in a state of bliss.

If you’re looking for a reinvention of the wheel, or something extraordinarily daring this isn’t the album for you. But that’s not a bad thing, as not every album has to redefine sonic boundaries, but bands like this can work within the lines while delivering a colourful, textured piece of work.

Chastity Belt as a band offer incredible, subtle production and thoughtful lyrics that takes time, dedication and skills to pull off to the level they have. And that should be celebrated to the fullest.

This album would be perfect for a long drive during summer. The breeze flowing through the car window, clear skies, the open road and this album soundtracking your journey.

Chastity Belt: Live Laugh Love – Out 29th March 2024 (Suicide Squeeze Records)

Belt – Chemtrails (Official Video) (youtube.com)