Beth Ditto’s band Gossip reuniting for first new music in a decade

Gossip have reunited (Cody Critcheloe)
Gossip have reunited (Cody Critcheloe)

A decade after Beth Ditto’s band Gossip released their last single, the “Standing in the Way of Control” group have announced that they are reuniting.

Formed in 1999, the indie trio – consisting of vocalist Ditto, 42, guitarist Nathan “Brace Paine” Howdeshell and drummer Hannah Blilie – released five studio albums together before splitting in 2016. They reunited in 2019 for the anniversary tour of their 2009 album Music For Men.

On Friday, Gossip announced that they will next year release their first album in 11 years. Titled Real Power, the record will be released on 22 March 2024.

The album has been made in collaboration with the legendary producer Rick Rubin, who they worked on Music For Men with. It was Rubin who convinced the band to start recording together in 2019, once the anniversary tour was completed.

‘Real Power’ will be released next year (Cody Critcheloe)
‘Real Power’ will be released next year (Cody Critcheloe)

The 11-track album was recorded at Rubin’s home studio in Kauai, Hawaii, with the process temporarily halted by the pandemic and resuming when restrictions were lifted.

Speaking about their return, Ditto said: “When we began, so much about Gossip was about running away - that was always in the music.

“We survived. We came from nothing, and we got the f*** out of there. To be here 20 years later and still making music together is just incredible.”

Accompanying the reunion news was the release of “Crazy Again”, the first Gossip single from the new album. Throughout their career, Gossip commonly explored themes of culture, gender and sexuality through their music.

The title track of their Noughties studio album Standing in the Way of Control was a queer anthem written in response to the Federal Marriage Amendment, the proposal by the George W Bush administration preventing US states from recognising same-sex marriages. It was later defeated.

When the band split in 2016, it was due to musician Howdeshell relocating back to his childhood home in Arkansas after becoming a born-again Christian. One year later, Ditto compared it to “watching your friend relapse”.

Speaking to The Independent in 2019, Ditto compared her relationship with Howdeshell to that with a distant relative, where they are “super-close in a very strange, unspoken way”.

“We keep it very surface level,” she said.“It’s an old friendship, and people change and evolve. I think I was having a lot of anxiety about the idea of being around him and getting back together. He was getting married while I was getting divorced, which felt weird.

“But he is who he is, and we’ve always had different interests and some that overlap. I can’t explain it. It’s just life.”