Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gospel Gossip - Sing Into My Mouth


Gospel Gossip
Sing Into My Mouth (Guilt Ridden Pop, 2007)
Grade: A-

Download: Gospel Gossip - "Wind"
Download: Gospel Gossip - "Lucky Lemmings"

Full Disclosure: A band member who recently joined Gospel Gossip is a good friend of the writer's. However, this writer believes objectively that Gospel Gossip made a record that should merit a great deal of discussion. Hopefully, you, the reader, will agree as well.

The word that keeps popping up whenever I read or hear someone (well, in this case, only two people, really) discuss Gospel Gossip's music is "surprise". The first instance was when a anonymous commenter said on the "Shadows Are Bent" track review that they were surprised, in the sense of being impressed, with the band's set at the Turf Club last Friday. The second time was when our own April Wright said that she was surprised (again, in the sense of being impressed) by the tracks the band posted on their MySpace page. That conversation was off the record, unless you have my Gmail password (in which case I desperately need to call and cancel several personal services right now).

With the release of the Northfield, MN, trio's (now a quartet due to the addition of synth player Deanna Steege, of Unicorn Basement) debut album Sing Into My Mouth, plenty more people should react in a similar surprised fashion*. For you see, Sing Into My Mouth is a shockingly great debut for a band this young. In fact, Gospel Gossip's first full-length just may rival Mouthful of Bees' The End, in terms of being one of the best MPLS indie-pop debuts in the past year or so.

Sing Into My Mouth juxtaposes yearning, bitterly hopeful, highly catchy jangle-pop songs with deeply introspective psychedelic freak-outs which have a surprising (there we go again) amount of depth and sonic texture. Following the first track, a slowly-building piece of crescendo-rock called "Home Is Where The Hibah Is", Sing settles in more traditional stanza/refrain territory with strongly crafted songs like "Revolution In Physics" and "Wire". Each song is about 3 minutes and change, or the length of a typical pop song. But what makes these group of tracks great is that they show a remarkable amount of patience in how they develop from beginning to end.

Furthermore, each song is as great and engaging as the last, as Gospel Gossip combine the driving, melodic shoegazer-rock of Ride with the blue-eyed sadness of essential 80s groups such as The Cure and Echo and The Bunnymen. But lest you think that Sing Into My Mouth is one giant mope-fest, GG will throw in a riot grrl jam like "Mt. Virgil" or three Tom Waits-esque segue tracks just to keep the vibe from becoming too complacent.

But one can clearly tell from the life and energy bursting from these tracks that Sing Into My Mouth is anything but complacent. These songs start off in a simple fashion and then slowly, steadily, they add more parts and melodies until the inevitable anthemic climax. By that point, whether it's the build-up to synth lines in "Revolution In Physics" and "Wind" or the jangly coda of "Shadows Are Bent", one feels as if they, with the band, are engaging in what alcoholic musicians might call a sonic moment of clarity.

Whether or not those particular revelations in song cause you to wander the earth in spiritual solitude like Cane from "Kung Fu" is one thing. But what is undoubtedly certain is the brightness of Gospel Gossip's musical future should the continue to record albums as great as Sing Into My Mouth.

Gospel Gossip will play the 7th Street Entry on Dec. 13th to celebrate the release of Sing Into My Mouth. Doors are at 8 and the show is 18+. Maps Of Norway, MC/VL and Dragons Power Up open.

Buy tickets here.

Gospel Gossip MySpace Page

(Jonathan Graef)

*and not because of the fact that if you play SIMM 5 times backwards, consecutively, goblins will come out of your stereo and eat your breakfast cereal. But not your soul. It was a strange and surprising experience to say the least

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