Tag Archives: Chastity Belt

The Best Albums of 2017: #20 – 1

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The wait is over. These are the 20 Best Albums of the year.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding. These are Bandcamp’s Best Albums of 2017.

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2017: The Year in Photos

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A look back at our favorite photos of the year.

Bandcamp is home to amazing musicians all over the world, so it’s only natural that we’d want Bandcamp Daily to feature independent photographers who also have unique and exciting perspectives. The process behind a photoshoot with an artist often requires multiple coordinated efforts, and can take place under stressful conditions, with tight time limits. It’s a credit to our photographers that none of these pressures are evident in their final resonate images. It’s always our goal with our original photography to elevate the message of the musicians we profile, and to allow for a meaningful collaboration between talented musicians and photographers. We reached out to some of the photographers we worked with over the course of the past year and asked them to share their behind-the-scenes thoughts and secrets. These are our favorite photoshoots of the year.

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Chastity Belt on Bro-Trolling and Growing Up (Sort Of)

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All photos by Chona Kasinger

Every band begins with a mission. Some yearn for fame, others for fortune; many are just looking for a way to pay the bills, and a few want to make art for art’s sake. The Seattle band Chastity Belt also grew from a shared purpose; the quartet came together when they were sophomores at Whitman College, in neighboring Walla Walla. The catalyst? An intense desire, fueled largely by pure boredom, to troll Beta Theta Pi, one of four fraternities on campus.

It was 2010, bandleader Julia Shapiro tells me over the phone, and the brothers’ annual “Battle of the Bands”—a bacchanal dominated by Axe, weed, and body odor—was fast approaching. As such, the ladies—Shapiro (guitar, vocals), Lydia Lund (guitar), Annie Truscott (bass), and Gretchen Grimm (drums)—figured it’d be pretty damn funny to invite all their friends, storm the dudebros’ fortress, and hopefully, come out on top.

A short while later, Chastity Belt hit the stage for their first-ever performance, dressed as punks, faces smeared with garish makeup (“I was wearing so much red eyeliner it looked like my eyes were bleeding,” Shapiro recalls). They performed a single song: “Surrender,” a five-minute ode to angst, youth, “stealing your mom’s cigarettes, and wearing dark eyeliner.” To the band’s surprise, the mass of friends gathered to watch the set significantly outnumbered the Betas. Not that Chastity Belt needed to sway anyone; according to Shapiro, some of the group’s friends stole the voting slips intended for partygoers and stuffed the ballot boxes, rigging the competition in the band’s favor. “We didn’t really win anything,” Shapiro says, her deadpan voice dripping with mock disappointment.

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The Merch Table: April 2017

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Illustration by Paul Grelet

Every month, The Merch Table brings you the best and most bonkers merchandise you can find on Bandcamp. We commend bands and labels that get a little creative and think outside the tote bag. Whether it’s a fashion accessory, a piece of art, or something entirely unique, The Merch Table showcases inventive, original—and, occasionally, downright strange—stuff that you might want to get your hands on.

This month’s merch table is spring-themed. We’ve thrown winter out the window here at Bandcamp Daily—we’re looking forward to spring showers, outdoor shows, and the items that will help usher us into the warmer season.

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