Chastity offers an emotional and political sophomore release

Photo credit: Julia Noel

Explosive and melodic, the new album from Chastity paces itself perfectly, knowing when to hold back and when to let all hell loose. That duality is what makes Home Made Satan stand out from other albums. When it’s soft it’s beautiful and catchy but suddenly a burst of emotion and melancholic outrage is unleashed a second later. The contrast is effectively aided by a great distorted guitar tone.

Brandon Williams is the creative mind behind Chastity. He’s on tour with the band in New York when I get him on the phone. It’s his day off and he’s standing out front a theatre, getting ready to see a City and Colour concert when I ask him about what it was like first getting into music when he was a teenager in Whitby, Ontario.

“I think Whitby culture is hockey,” he says. “There are ten hockey arenas in a town of 100,000 people. And there’s really no music space or anything.”

In those early years, Williams would travel to Oshawa to see punk shows. It was there that he was first exposed to a DIY scene. It was inspiring seeing people expressing themselves and having their voices be heard.

“It was a wild and cool thing for me to see,” Williams says. “I felt community in it. I wanted to keep feeling that community.”

In 2018 Williams would release Chastity’s first album, Death Lust, to much praise. Pitchfork called Williams “an artist with the versatility to work in dramatically different modes.” And DIY Magazine called Death Lust “a gigantic burst of noise worthy of instant attention.”

A year later Williams has released Home Made Satan and these sentiments still ring true. His ability to write catchy hooks has only improved. Throughout the album, every song features an attention-grabbing chorus. Whether it’s on a hauntingly beautiful quiet track like “Dead Relatives” or a more hard-hitting rocker like “Anxiety,” each song is gilded with a pop sensibility.

As far as the record’s messages, this album is full of talk about politics, fear, and the power of community.

“It’s a record about finding a place where you fit in,” says Williams. “It’s politically about not being neutral and not being quiet about your beliefs and rights for others. I think there are really clear messages on it about sticking up for marginalized people and those less fortunate. I think it’s a fine thing to be outspoken and brazen and brash about your own politics. That’s the takeaway on this one.”

Chastity will be performing at The Biltmore Cabaret on November 14th with BLESSED, Jo Passed, and BRASS.