After a brief hiatus in order for the band to recognise the fact that their music is right where they want it to be, Chastity Belt are back. They bring with them a new, luscious record, and dazzling live experiences.
When your band’s name is Gang, you’re bound to be a major player of puns. The experimental dream pop group likes to keep it simple: Gang in Berlin is their slogan for the night, one they’ve been using consistently, switching it up to fit the city they are playing as Chastity Belt’s support. The exploratory name fits their songs well: some are to-the point, snazzy indie tracks, whilst others will keep you on the edge of your seat for 15+ minutes.
Gang’s sound serves as a flawless introduction to the main act: their tight-knit play could have come directly from a Chastity Belt album. They’ve just released a new self-titled record, so, naturally, it was time to bring those songs to the stage. The highly instrumental It Takes Time reminds us no one will perfect their craft in a single day. In Half-Hearted, we’re not quite there yet. The latest album’s introspective approach shines through when the band is singing about trying to get somewhere – anywhere – but instead ending up lost. Ann’s Jam, previously released as a single, reflects on joyous days gone by, and how everything has shifted since then: “It was clear then, the sea before the storm/ Now there’s a thick fog around everything I learn/ And I just kill time by dreading everything / But in that moment, life felt significant.”
The set is dominated by their new songs, which goes to show how important the band’s hiatus and self-reflection was for them. A few tracks from their 2017 release I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone make it into the set: Different Now is about being fine alone, yet there seems to be an endless struggle of self-doubt and anxiety on the road towards it. This Time of Night picks up right where Different Now ends. Used To Spend is looking up, but wondering still for how long the good times will last.
The concert ends the same way Chastity Belt ends: Pissed Pants brings together previous and new motifs from the band’s history. Others are having the times of their lives with seemingly no effort involved, telling us everything is going to work out fine despite the tight grip of perfectionism, but on the horizon, maybe, if we look hard enough, we’ll find our very own light.