From the bio off their Hardly Art page, Chastity Belt's latest single "Joke" has been described as a "parallel-universe stoner anthem." Certain lyrics ("nothing serious / everything's a joke") do seem to reference the sort of carefree attitude that comes with being high, though singer/guitarist Julia Shaprio has said in an interview that she's not singing entirely about smoking weed.
Musically, it doesn't really sound like a stoner song anyway. Compared to the previously released “Time To Go Home,” "Joke" is more straightforward.
Whereas the former was capricious, fluctuating between being plodding and uplifting, the latter sticks to a more consistent pace that's set by the opening's thumping bass. Not that consistency is bad.
The quartet delivers one of their most melodic tunes with washes of bright chords and plucked notes that toll pleasantly throughout the verse and the chorus. But it's the outro that makes the track even more palatable than it already is. Twangs of guitar licks and strums fill the last two and a half minutes, and in that time, Shapiro and fellow guitarist Lydia Lund show just how well they play off one another.
It reminds us that outside the often sharp and humorous lyrics, Chastity Belt is a band that knows how to make a statement -- even when they're just riffing on their instruments.