Over the past decade, Julia Shapiro has been a mainstay of the Seattle area music scene via bands including Chastity Belt, Childbirth, and Who Is She? Today she has announced her solo debut album Perfect Version, out this spring on Hardly Art.
Shapiro conceived of the project during a time of personal tumult. While touring with Chastity Belt in support of their third full-length I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone in April 2018, Shapiro was afflicted with health and relationship-related issues and felt unable to continue the tour, so she flew home. “I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn’t sing or be a person,” Shapiro recalls in a press release. “At that point I couldn’t even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it.”
When she returned to Seattle, Shapiro took time for herself and got to work on what would become Perfect Version — an album in which “virtually every” instrument she recorded herself. The public’s first sample of that work is “Natural,” which arrives with a video today.
The Matthew James-Wilson-directed clip is charming and knowingly makeshift. Scraps of home video are dispersed among scenes of stuffed animal-led, summer camp-esque stop motion animation. “How can someone be so blindly confident/ I wanna know that trick,” Shapiro sings, highlighting the album’s focus on seeking methods for self-improvement.
Watch “Natural” below.
02 “Parking Lot”
05 “Harder To Do”
06 “Around The Block”
07 “A Couple Highs”
08 “Perfect Version”
09 “I Lied”
10 “Empty Cup”
Perfect Version is out 6/14 via Hardly Art. Pre-order it here.