Gospel Gossip: Drift

Gospel Gossip have produced a record that captures the full force of their live performances and still manages to refine the subtlest aspects of their music, all within the confines of a four-song EP. Economic in form and cinematic in scope, Drift enhances the Northfield trio's shimmering dream-pop with tightened songcraft and ambitious experimentation. The results avoid the group's previously erratic tendencies with a robust, assured sound that amounts to the local buzz band's most accomplished effort to date.

Drift kicks off with a knockout blow in "Sippy Cup," which distills the band's explosive live energy into an anthemic cut. Driven by a sizzling guitar, the song starts off mired in self doubt and rises to a harrowing climax, Sarah Nienaber's vocals cracking as she exclaims, half dreadfully and half triumphantly, "Oh, I never knew my fears could get so far away from me." The collection's obvious single, "Sippy Cup" is one of the most resonant songs Gospel Gossip have written, and by far the most straightforward one here. "Ponds," a similarly catchy if slightly less immediate number, follows the opener's raw passion with a dreamy cool that stretches the record into an enveloping sprawl.

The back half of the EP smolders ominously as it builds on "Ponds"' lush textures. The languid drone of "Chores" creates a dense, rich atmosphere built on curtains of reverb, Nienaber's howls and incantations echoing hauntingly overhead. Crackling and popping but never quite exploding, the band members barely keep things reigned in with subtle dynamic shifts and liquid breaks. While "Chores" simmers on Justin Plank's melodic bass line without any real guitar presence, Drift's last song, "Blazin'," slides into a noisy wash before Plank and drummer Ollie Moltaji pick up the threads and crash through a thrillingly tense buildup. Understated and expansive, it's a breathtaking finale—the work of a band comfortably in control of their music while pushing their creative boundaries into new and exciting territory.

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