Fresh off the release of their third album, I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, the Seattle-based indie band Chastity Belt have compiled an annotated playlist that outlines the three phases of a “Coffee Comedown”: Ecstasy, Anxiety, and Hope. In the same way the four-piece band have built their songs around turning everyday observations into weighty revelations, bassist Annie Truscott’s emotional, caffeine-fueled expedition doubles as the soundtrack to an existential crisis.
Process is paramount and Truscott takes her time untangling the complexities of each phase. Her description of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Higher” is both jubilant and feral: “When the coffee starts crankin’ through my system, I feel invincible. I feel ready to take on the day.” However, Truscott differentiates between contemplating big thoughts and actually putting them into action. These flashes of clarity show up in moments of transition on the playlist. Merchandise’s “Become What You Are” caps the the Ecstasy phase and its lulling repetition offers a reprieve before the track’s quiet chaos morphs into Anxiety.
But like most seemingly catastrophic situations, Truscott knows that this will not last forever. One of the best (and worst) things about coffee is that it will inevitably wear off. It mirrors an ongoing tension in Chastity Belt’s own music; a self-aware brand of self-indulgence derived from knowing that the tribulations of youth are also temporary. Of course, Stevie Nicks gets in the last word with “After the Glitter Fades,” which Truscott explains as a cleanser of sorts: “I remember how it feels, and I can look on all the phases of my comedown thru nostalgia-colored glasses.”