Best Vocalist, Female: Julia Shapiro

Julia Shapiro writes really incredible love songs. What’s refreshing is they’re fun love songs. Nobody’s weeping about broken hearts or riding away to a fairy-tale wedding. Shapiro writes about real, dirty, 20-something lust. And she wails about it. Case in point: last year’s “God Damn” from Chastity Belt’s excellent EP, Fuck Chastity Belt. “God damn. God daaaaaamn. That boy is so damn fine, I want to make him mine. That boy is hot, damn,” she croons before launching into some of the most heartfelt “woah-woah-ohs” in the history of pop. The whole song is such a beautiful gambit—after pining for this guy, she ends the song hoping not for a date or a nice dinner. “I wanna fuck him,” she howls as it closes. You can’t help but sing along. Everyone’s been there—everyone has felt that. Maybe you were at Talcum at Chop Suey, and you spotted someone shimmying to the soul music in just the right way. Maybe you were slinging back cheap beer at some person’s apartment you’ve never met, and in walks a total 100-percent babe. Shapiro’s voice is incredible at soundtracking those moments of blissful, scuzzy love. As far as I’m concerned, “God Damn” is the new “Be My Baby,” and if Chastity Belt’s debut LP, No Regrets, out later this month, delivers on its promise, I elect Shapiro as Seattle’s schwasted poet laureate.

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