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Beth Ditto: Fake Sugar

Firstly: Beth Ditto is a goddess. If you don’t know her name already, her first full-length solo album, Fake Sugar, is sure to make you take notice. Ditto, a self-described “fat, feminist lesbian from Arkansas,” was previously the singer for the band Gossip (an amazing band), but they split last year.
Fake Sugar isn’t Ditto’s first foray into solo work: in 2011 she released a self-titled EP that contained four tracks of electro bliss perfect for the dance floor. Given this earlier outing, it may come as a surprise that Fake Sugar eschews that sound in favor of a more traditional “rock” lineup of guitar, bass, and drums. Yet there remains a touch of the dance floor with a pulsating rhythm section throughout the album. It is Ditto’s singing, however, that remains front and center, right where it belongs. The album, produced by Jennifer Decilveo, builds everything around Ditto’s voice, which ranges from delicate intimacy (“Clouds (Song for John)”) to confident exhortations (“Fire”).
Every cut on this album is a gem, but among the standouts include “Oo La La,” a New Wave-inflected number that demands to be sung along to; “Savoir Faire,” a putdown to bad love; and “Oh My God,” which hews closest to the sound Gossip developed.

Recommended If You Like: Gossip, Lykke Li, the Kills
Recommended Tracks: 2, 4, 6, 8 (and everything else)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Rachel Benefiel on 07/12/2017