Chastity Discusses Distortion and Riffs, Whitby Roots and New Single "Peroxide"

Chastity Discusses Distortion and Riffs, Whitby Roots and New Single "Peroxide"
Photo: James Michael Chiang
Chastity, the recording project of Whitby resident Brandon Williams, made waves with some blistering shoegaze that brought him some international attention after the release of his 2015 debut TAPE EP. Ahead of his appearance headlining Exclaim!'s fourth Class of 2017 show on January 21 at the Silver Dollar, Chastity has dropped a new single, "Peroxide," courtesy of his new label, Captured Tracks.
 
On "Peroxide," Williams' pleading vocals are underscored by plaintive piano and swelling strings, with nary a six-string to be heard. As Williams explained to Exclaim! via email, his noisy, guitar-driven work and the soaring new single "came from different times in my life, but they both still carry the same weight for me."
 
Not only does this willingness to switch things up manifest in the sound of his music, but in distribution as well: TAPE was released by Hand Drawn Dracula; "Peroxide" was first announced in May on Last Gang, but was released on Captured Tracks, where he signed in November.
 
Williams opened up about some other changes — namely developments in his hometown, Whitby. Williams has spoken frequently about a socio-economic divide within Whitby, as exemplified by its trailer parks and luxury cars. According to Williams, "As of just recently, I think, the trailer park isn't there anymore. We used to walk through it on breaks at school, there was a charity shop in a strip mall out the other side of it.
 
"I don't know what they are planning on doing with the property but it was a sinking feeling when I came home a few months ago and it was an empty lot. A close friend of mine lived there with his family. I went to school with him, and I went to school with [the late Finance Minister of Canada] Jim Flaherty's kids. I am not sure how it impacts my writing but it definitely has impacted my worldview," he muses.
 
Following his single release and the Class of 2017 appearance, Williams has big plans for the rest of the year, the least of which will be the release of his debut LP. He explains, "I'd like to have a benefit show in Whitby next, and do a bush party this summer at a place called Cullen Gardens. They converted an old provincial jail into a small 160-capacity theatre in Whitby — they hung two people there while it was a jail. I'd like to have a show there by the end of the year, I would really like to play with strings there. I also am trying to get the record finished right now, it will be out this year."
 
Chastity will headline the fourth instalment of the Class of 2017 concert series on January 21 at the Silver Dollar Room in Toronto. You can read conversations with other members of the Class of 2017 here.

Below, check out the video for "Peroxide" and listen to B-side "Die from My Mind."