Though Gossip formed more than a decade ago in the college town of Olympia, Washington, the Beth Ditto-led dance-rockers have been stars in England since the full-throated assault of 2006’s Standing in the Way of Control. 2009’s Music for Men brought Gossip chart success in continental Europe, as well, but conquering Gossip’s home country has remained a challenge for the group. The first track from Gossip’s upcoming fifth album, A Joyful Noise, doesn’t attempt to compromise to please U.S. pop radio programmers who barely acknowledge guitar-based music anyway, and that looks like a wise decision.
Due out on May 22, A Joyful Noise swaps out the previous album’s producer, bearded hitmaker Rick Rubin, for Brian Higgins, who has previously overseen seamless synth-pop creations by Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys, Girls Aloud, and Saint Etienne. Accordingly, advance track “Perfect World” is taut, uptempo electro-rock, with soaring disco orchestration to match Ditto’s diva-level belting. “We could be more than before,” she roars on the bittersweet chorus, showcasing her distinctive pipes as “before” becomes about a million syllables, and almost as many notes.
“I spent the whole year listening to ABBA and not listening to radio,” Ditto says in a statement. Don’t worry, “Perfect World” is still swathed in plenty of piercing guitars and a pummeling rock rhythm section. But it’s also proof she isn’t kidding.
Stream “Perfect World” over at Gossip’s website, and watch for Gossip’s SXSW performance, which will be live-streamed on Thursday.
A Joyful Noise track list:
- “Melody Emergency”
- “Perfect World”
- “Get a Job”
- “Move in the Right Direction”
- “Casualties of War”
- “Into the Wild”
- “Get Lost”
- “I Won’t Play”
- “Love in a Foreign Place”