more from
Hardly Art

Perfect Version

by Julia Shapiro

supported by
steveinsocal
steveinsocal thumbnail
steveinsocal "...a brutally frank snapshot of a life imploding... this album is Chastity Belt's Julia Shapiro ultimately life-affirming chronicle of her spiralling decent into emotional disrepair. Via an exquisite layering of harmonious vocals and indie-rock and shoegazy guitars, the album documents the triumphant reclamation of her life..."

reclaimingthecolonies-onestateatatime.blogspot.com
Favorite track: Perfect Version.
Brian Miller
Brian Miller thumbnail
Brian Miller Solid guitar pop foundations wrapped in dreamy, ethereal vocals. Favorite track: Shape.
smiley_mcgrouchpants
smiley_mcgrouchpants thumbnail
smiley_mcgrouchpants Great! Comfy, like an old sweater. Same metronome, things-clicking-into-place integration you get from Chastity Belt. You'll *feel* better! :)

A good succession of songs. Favorite track: Natural.
more...
/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD  or more

     

  • Cassette + Digital Album

    A copy of "Perfect Version" on cassette tape.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Perfect Version via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD or more 

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    A copy of "Perfect Version" on limited edition royal blue-colored vinyl (while supplies last).

    Includes unlimited streaming of Perfect Version via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $18 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A copy of "Perfect Version" on CD.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Perfect Version via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $10 USD or more 

     

1.
Natural 02:49 video
how can somebody be so blindly confident I wanna know that trick how can you love yourself so damn much it isn’t natural it isn’t natural it’s not natural at all I’d like to learn a skill, something useful then I’ll support myself and I will buy a house I’ll live alone in it, somewhere out in the woods and I’ll feel new again, I’ll be my own best friend
2.
Parking Lot 02:34
had a lot to say to my friend who feels the same way getting high in the parking lot thinking I don’t wanna go back I don’t wanna go back I could sit here all night I don’t wanna go back feeling the buzz cars speeding past together alone anxious but calm
3.
Shape 04:05
deep down I know I’d rather be alone I can’t fit into that shape I can’t fit into that shape I can’t fit into that shape I can’t for what it’s worth I’m not here, everything’s dark now I’ll slip into a dream where I’m nothing and my mind’s free I found the key lightness of being I could live just like a fool I could live just like a fool I could live just like a fool I could and in my dream things were just as they seemed we were on the phone and your thoughts were my own
4.
Tired 03:36
why do I beat myself up I was not meant for this stuff fall back into your own trash and just trust or lie outside in the sun and just rust fall back into your own trash you had a lot to say about yourself yeah I know you think you figured it all out but I got tired of listening I got tired of listening I got tired of listening
5.
Harder To Do 02:43
there are so many things I’d rather do but here I sit in this box feeling blue hard to think about harder to do hard to think about harder to do hard to think about harder to do
6.
driving my car around the block cause I can’t find anywhere to park makes me think about all the days I really try but can’t seem to get anything done then I go to sleep again and I wake up in a bed how mad can I really get how hard should I laugh walking in the rain through the streets even though I’ve got no place to be makes me think about all the times I really try but can’t seem to figure it out then I go to sleep again and I wake up in a bed how mad can I really get how hard should I laugh
7.
a summer with no plans so much potential, a lot of disappointment wish I could go back to that state of mind soak in all that time but back then, I was so insecure another week of confused reality hiding from what truly makes me happy well I tried, well I tried hit a lot of lows and a couple highs making the rounds again say goodbye to most of my friends plenty of things to think about but never say out loud another week of confused reality hiding from what truly makes me happy well I tried, well I tried hit a lot of lows and a couple highs I really tried, I really tried hit a lot of lows and a couple highs
8.
falling on my ass again at least I have my friends to laugh at what I’ve done now we’re having so much fun all my problems feel like paper I can finally rip them up some new tricks I’d like to learn maybe this can be the cure I’ve spent all my time just trying to be as close as I can to the perfect version of me perfect version
9.
I Lied 03:43
woke up feeling sad I woke up feeling sad I should really delete my Instagram what happens when we die what happens when we die I’m not sure I believe in the afterlife it’s a riot, laughing and crying did it ever feel okay or was I just lying I should really be more present I should go to bed at a reasonable hour but what’s the fun in that it’s impossible to keep your life together it’s a riot, laughing and crying did it ever feel okay or was I just lying yeah I think I lied, I lied in a major way now I’ve hit a whole new low but I feel everything
10.
Empty Cup 04:24
feels good, as good as it could alone in my room now that you’re gone I can hear my own thoughts was it a waste of time or a bridge I had to cross your happiness is just a front I don’t even want that much in this place I’m not anyone can’t define myself by anything I’ve said or done it was enough to fill me up but now I’m left with an empty cup so what comes next? so what comes next? a lasting sense of self a lasting sense of self a lasting sense

about

When Julia Shapiro flew home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour in April 2018, everything in her life felt out of control. Dealing with health issues, freshly out of a relationship, and in the middle of an existential crisis, she realized halfway through a tour supporting her band’s third album I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone that she was going through too much to continue. “I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn’t sing or be a person,” Shapiro recalls. “At that point I couldn’t even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it.”

Returning home to a newly empty Seattle one-bedroom apartment, Shapiro had wanted for a long time to learn how to record and mix her own music, and out of the uncertainty of the future of her music career and her health, she began to record the songs that would become Perfect Version, her solo debut for Hardly Art. What she created in the space of ten songs is an intimate and beautifully self-aware examination of feeling lost in the life you’ve created for yourself. It’s an album of shimmering guitars and layered vocals that feels vast in the emotional depth it conveys and masterful in the way each song is intentionally crafted and recorded.

Throughout the record Shapiro tries on different ways of living, all thematically centered around the idea of what it would be like to be a perfect version of yourself. “How can someone be so blindly confident/I wanna know that trick,” she wonders on “Natural,” the opening track that begins using another person as a mirror and then pans back to a bigger picture: what would it take to really love yourself? The album is peppered with ideas of what self-improvement could look like—whether it’s learning a skill and living out in the woods, going to bed at a reasonable hour, or even more playful, deeply relatable lines like “I should really delete my Instagram.”

Shapiro has a knack for turning simple images into something profound, drawing influence from songwriters like Elliott Smith to capture complicated moods. The everyday act of circling the block trying to find a parking spot becomes a metaphor for trying and feeling like you can’t quite get anything done. “All my problems feel like paper/I can finally rip them up,” she sings on the title track, describing a moment of lightness in hanging out with friends who can find humor in your failure “at least I have my friends to laugh at what I’ve done.”

Over the course of a tumultuous year of trying to find stability amidst depression and surgery, Shapiro ultimately rediscovered the parts of music that she loved through the process. Her perfectionist qualities create an album that shines in tiny lyrical moments and meticulous guitar parts. “When the rest of my life felt out of control, I felt like this was my chance to be in control of everything,” says Shapiro. She plays all the instruments (save for a mouth trumpet solo by Darren Hanlon and guest violin by Annie Truscott) and after recording and mixing the first batch of four songs at the Vault studio with Ian LeSage decided to record the final six tracks alone in her apartment, adding drums in the studio later and learning to mix them with the help of her friend David Hrivnak. Perfect Version is a fully realized vision from a gifted songwriter finding a more intimate voice. “So what comes next?” she questions on the album closer “Empty Cup” which explores the quiet satisfaction of being alone with yourself and creating a blank slate. “A lasting sense of self,” she concludes.

-- Robin Edwards

credits

released June 14, 2019

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Julia Shapiro Seattle, Washington

contact / help

Contact Julia Shapiro

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Julia Shapiro, you may also like: