Julia Shapiro (Chastity Belt, Childbirth, Who Is She?) is back with her second solo album, Zorked, the follow-up to 2019’s Perfect Version. Set for an Oct. 15 release on Suicide Squeeze Records, the 10-track LP features co-production from Melina Duterte (Jay Som), who helped Shapiro record at home during lockdown in Los Angeles, and pushed her to explore a sound distinct from both her solo debut and her work with Chastity Belt.
Lead single “Come With Me,” out now alongside a psychedelic, live-action/animation-hybrid music video (dir. Ertugrul Yaka), is our first preview of that new sound: dreamy, but dark—nightmarey, more like—with droning synths that jab your nerves, hazy and hallucinatory lyrics, and layered Shapiro vocals that evoke MGMT. It’s a sound cleverly calibrated for these times, in which we’re all “zorked” in one way or another, whether by virtue of chemical intervention, or our mental circuits simply overloading.
Shapiro recalls writing and recording “Come With Me” in a statement:
Last September I went on a backpacking trip with my cousins, up in the mountains of Colorado, and one of the days we were out there we did mushrooms. I ended up having a pretty insane trip, but I had the worst time when I was coming up on them. I kept seeing evil faces in the mountains. This song was partially inspired by that experience, but it’s really about anytime I’m stuck in a negative headspace and spiraling out of control. It’s about giving in and letting your mind take you to the darkest places. The song itself is really evil sounding, with super dissonant chords, which inspired the darker lyrics. I’ve never written a song that sounds like this. This might be my favorite drumbeat on the album … it just gives the song a nice groove. Melina Duterte (who recorded/mixed the album) had the idea to add some staccato synth throughout the whole track, which adds another dimension to it.
Director Yaka adds of the “Come With Me” video:
Julia found me on one of the freelancer sites. It came as a surprise to me because I’ve been listening to Chastity Belt since 2016. So I know her from the Chastity Belt. It was a great experience for me. The video is about the war between good trips and bad trips. When you’re looking for joy, two kinds of feelings are always chasing you at the end. When you reach joy, a piece from your inside breaks off; I mean, it’s giving you something and taking another thing from your inside. I made this video based on my own experience.
Get zorked via the “Come With Me” video below, and see the details of Shapiro’s new album further down. You can preorder the record right here.
01. Death (XIII)
02. Come With Me
03. Wrong Time
05. Reptile! Reptile!
06. Pure Bliss
08. Do Nothing About It
10. Hall of Mirrors
Zorked Album Art: