BEST NEW BAND - 2008
With an EP and a full-length already in their discography, and a West Coast tour behind them, Gospel Gossip are the overachieving Bobby Fischers of our musical community. Drawing on old-soul pop awareness they must have accrued in their past lives, these wunderkinds have made a high-wattage debut that harkens to the finer, headier days when brainiacs like the Velvet Underground and New Order were called party music. Gospel Gossip self-classify as shoegaze, and they are certainly atmospheric and inward enough to fit that bill. But they're also hitting a major growth spurt in their second year in action, and one can already see that confining label beginning to bind up in the armpits. Gospel Gossip's debut full-length, Sing into My Mouth, jangles with a confidence and vibrancy normally refined over a career many times longer than that of the Northfield four-piece. Though a raucous intensity often sprawls over the album's moodier parts, nothing on it could foreshadow their live experience. While drummer Ollie Moltaji and bassist Justin Plank keep urgent, panicked rhythms, vocalist Sarah Nienaber writhes and trembles under the weight of her guitar work, and her impassioned divinations approach the boundless, almost destructive performing powers of Ian Curtis. Proof of reincarnation? Who can say?