The Music

Fake Sugar

Beth Ditto succeeds in spades by serving up sweet but urgent songs with shades of funk, disco, indie rock, and country flourishes.

BY PAUL V. VITAGLIANO

As the founder and lead singer of queer indie stalwarts Gossip, Beth Ditto seemingly came out of nowhere with a voice that was able to blow the roof off any church and every punk rock dive bar.

“I personally love Beth for being so fearless… she’s been openly gay since forever, she’s a feminist, she’s an unapologetic big girl, and she is talented as all hell.”

She also lent those featured pipes on electro dance tracks from Simian Mobile Disco, Netsky and The Shoes (her blistering take on Cerrone’s classic Supernature is not to be missed). But as a band, Gossip never quite graduated from underground darlings to pop superstars.

On her first proper full length solo effort, Ditto, hopefully, just might change all that. She is as much influenced here by her country upbringing as she is by the best of 70s and 80s pop and rock, most notably heard on the rootsy, ballsy and bluesy lead single Fire, which is indeed a slow-burning, hot hoedown. Meanwhile, Oo La La is a drum-heavy indie dance footstomper, and Go Baby Go serves as a moving tribute to late Suicide singer Alan Vega.

Another fave is We Could Run, which shows just how enormous her prowess is, by holding notes in the chorus that’ll tingle your spine. All told, Ditto succeeds in spades by serving up these sweet but urgent songs with shades of funk, disco, indie rock, and country flourishes. I personally love Beth for being so fearless, too; she’s been openly gay since forever, she’s a feminist, she’s an unapologetic big girl, and she is talented as all hell. And once you hear that voice? All bets are off!

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