Julia Shapiro: First, Last, and Favorite

First, Last, and Favorite is our column where we get to know an artist a little better through the music they love with them choosing a First big record in life, the Last thing they’ve been jamming, and an all time Favorite. On the eve of her in-store performance at our shop (Thursday 6/13/19, 7:30pm) we’re thrilled to feature Julia Shapiro.

Julio Shapiro you might also know as the voice of Seattle’s much loved Chastity Belt, though she’s trying something new on her own now after what sounds like a really tough year. What we’ve heard so far from her solo record is incredible. Sonically it has shades of the 80s proto-shoegaze underground and the lo-fi/impromptu soul of so much of the all-time greatest indie-rock. And the songwriting picks up nicely from 2017’s excellent I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone with tracks full of thoughtful self examination rendered with perfect heart breaking simplicity. Hear for yourself:

Julia shared three picks with us that nicely sum her up as a listener, including her initiation into the genre of sad. Here are her thoughts in her own words:


Elliott Smith Either/Or

This was my favorite Elliott Smith album in high school. "Angeles" was the first song of his I ever heard and after that I was obsessed. I spent a lot of time alone in my room listening to Elliott Smith from age 12-17, which tells you a lot about my teenage years. I still think Elliott Smith is a genius songwriter. He made my favorite genre of music: sad. I like his later stuff too, which is poppier and more produced, but my favorite side of him is this more stripped down stuff. It feels more intimate, and therefore, sadder.


Chris Cohen Chris Cohen

I haven't spent as much time with this album as I have with his first two, but I've really been enjoying it lately. It's a little more smooth jazz than his other stuff, but I still love it. He's a great songwriter and I think I'll pretty much like anything he puts out. His songs are full of melodies and chord changes that are both unexpected and pleasing, haunting yet soothing.


Lucinda Williams Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

This is a perfect record to drive to. I've spent a lot of time on the road with this one, singing along to Lucinda's gravely, crooning voice. There's no other voice like hers. I think often women are expected to sing in a certain way, with a smooth, polished voice, so whenever I hear a woman who isn't concerned with making her voice sound how it's "supposed to," it really moves me. Lucinda's voice is so special and evocative. "Drunken Angel" and "Right in Time" cut really deep.