Gossip returns with ‘Real Power’

The band Gossip has been an indie darling for a couple decades now. A unique front woman and a compelling mix of punk; soul, and dance-oriented music make for a signature sound hard to mistake for anyone else.

This past March, Gossip released Real Power. Produced by Rick Rubin, it’s their first album in more than 12 years.

Not many bands can come back after such a long hiatus and pick up right where they left off. Beth Ditto (vocals), Nathan Howdeshell (guitar,) and Hannah Billie (drums) reunited briefly for the 10th anniversary of Gossip’s album Music for Men in 2019. Now they’re back and, dare we say, better than ever.

“When you’ve done it for 20+ years, you just know what the other person is saying. It happens in band practice a lot, with me and Hannah and Nathan.” Ditto explained to Billboard.

The entire album is full of funky dance grooves, powerful lyrics, and plenty of energy from Beth Ditto – see the video for “Real Power,” above. The songs address themes such as isolation, death, police brutality, racial issues, and the LGBTQ+ community, but with a disco-pop vibe you can’t help but tap your foot to. Ditto’s powerful vocals separate Gossip from other bands – it’s amazing how far a great front person can take a band musically. It’s an experience that can’t be replicated.

gossip real power album cover art

Gossip did a great job on this album with breaking new ground musically, but not completely straying away from what made them great in the first place. Real Power is a nice mix of old and new Gossip, it would have been easy for them to just recreate what made them popular. It shows real maturity from the band.

“When we began, so much about Gossip was about running away – that was always in the music,” Ditto told NME. “We survived. We came from nothing, and we got the fuck out of there. And to be here 20 years later and still making music together is just incredible.”

Real Power has tracks that showcase Ditto’s ability to belt, as well as how tight the band is with mellow synths and arrangements, allowing Ditto space to croon. The range of songs show the band is versatile. If you’ve been waiting for the return of Gossip, you will be thrilled by Real Power.

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