Gospel Gossip, Dreamland/Drift

Gospel Gossip, Dreamland/Drift

With the release of their debut full-length album, Sing Into My Mouth, in 2007, Gospel Gossip put themselves on the list of young bands to watch out for. The three-piece band from Northfield, Minneapolis, recorded Dreamland, a lengthy 6-song EP, two years later. Having previously displayed their instrumental talent and indie rock style, the EP leans the band in a slightly darker direction, and away from the nimble guitar riffs of their first album.

Here’s the rundown: half of the songs are short, blaring rock tunes, and half are longer, more instrument-heavy songs. On all of them, singer and guitarist Sarah Nienaber sings girlishly about winter, being alone, and regrets. With thundering guitar and Oliver Moltaji’s fast and simple drums, the first track, “Nashville,” sets the mood for the EP — a little bit somber, a little bit youthful. “Pre-Med (Just In Case)” tells the sad story of a couple who settle for each other and lead a life full of regret and missed opportunities, and ends with a shrill yelp from Nienaber, relating the fear of being caught in such a mundane life. The final and title track, “Dreamland,” slow and drenched in reverb, is a precursor to the more shoegaze-influenced sound of their following EP Drift.

Although I wouldn’t sell my soul for this EP, I think that Gospel Gossip are definitely worth checking out. I would suggest the previous Sing Into My Mouth over Dreamland, though, simply because it has much more interesting songwriting and better guitar riffs. Hopefully, the band will produce something of similar quality in the future.

After Dreamland, Gospel Gossip slide more into the modern wave of shoegaze with their 2009 EP Drift. Unlike the soft-and-sweet sound of contemporaries Beach House and Grizzly Bear, however, Gospel Gossip do it with a little bit of an edge.

This is due to the fact that, along with the standard wall-of-sound guitars that are the backdrop of every band influenced by My Bloody Valentine (which GG do pretty darn well, by the way), Drift is full of fast drums and, possibly the most noticeable feature of the band, frontwoman Nienaber’s voice, which sounds like a slightly more gruff Tao Nguyen. While these things put them firmly on the rock side of indie-rock, their lyrics, full of wistful imagery, manage to balance things out nicely. Think of Jesus and Mary Chain with a feminine touch.

Though it definitely sets them apart, Nienaber’s voice is often more of a distraction than anything else — it sounds a little childish next to the sophistication of the music. The roaming instrumental bits, reminiscent of Sing Into My Mouth’s “Lucky Lemmings,” are the true gold. I genuinely like all the songs on this EP, but I would offer a suggestion to the band — return to powerful, lengthy instrumental jams that you are so very good at.

(Guilt Ridden Pop -- P.O. Box 11894, Saint Paul, MN. 55111; http://guiltriddenpop.com/; Gospel Gossip -- http://www.myspace.com/gospelgossip)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Sunday, October 17th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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