Gos­sip girl’s in Vogue

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - E Guide Music - A JOY­FUL NOISE out now ( Sony)

WHEN Beth Ditto per­formed Madonna’s Vogue at a fash­ion event last year she wasn’t ex­pect­ing it to get back to the pop leg­end.

Yet Madonna’s man­ager sent the singer footage of Ditto belt­ing out the song in her un­der­wear.

And she thought it was ‘‘ great’’. She went on to cite Ditto as one of the in­flu­ences on her lat­est al­bum MDNA.

Would Beth Ditto, at 13, have be­lieved Madonna would be men­tion­ing her by name?

‘‘ The 13- year- old Beth Ditto would have laid an egg. What am I say­ing? The 31- year- old Beth Ditto laid an egg. Are you kid­ding me? I’m al­ready jaded, ‘ Yeah, so Madonna men­tioned me’. I couldn’t be­lieve it. Golly.’’

Yet it was an­other pop in­sti­tu­tion she turned to for in­spi­ra­tion for the fifth al­bum, A Joy­ful

Noise, by her band Gos­sip. Ditto claimed she lis­tened to noth­ing but ABBA for a year while mak­ing the al­bum.

‘‘ It’s, of course, an ex­ag­ger­a­tion but I got re­ally ob­sessed with the idea of the per­fect song,’’ she says.

‘‘ Not try­ing to make it, but . . . I can­not be­lieve how per­fect ev­ery sound, ev­ery noise, ev­ery lyric [ is].

‘‘ There’s so much go­ing on in ABBA records. Take away three lay­ers and there’s still 90 lay­ers there. It’s like an ar­ti­choke.’’

The band started the al­bum with pro­ducer Mark Ron­son, but ses­sions ground to a halt.

‘‘ It boils down to the diary. He wasn’t avail­able for the time we needed. Our rule is it takes as much time as it takes and we’ll know what the record sounds like when it’s fin­ished. We work slow. We do what we like, ba­si­cally, whether it’s good for us or not. We loved Mark, we had fun mak­ing mu­sic, there just wasn’t enough time, that’s all.’’

Ditto’s fa­ther, Homer, died last May, de­lay­ing things as she dealt with her grief.

‘‘ It wasn’t easy to get up and go to work ev­ery day and sit in the stu­dio and have to make a song. One song we didn’t put on the al­bum I couldn’t even get through with­out cry­ing. I couldn’t do it for the sake of do­ing it, I had to do it when it felt right.’’ While Ditto’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Di­a­monds to

Coal is still not re­leased (‘‘ I’m not sure what’s hap­pen­ing there but I’ll al­most have to write a new book’’) she’s busily pre­par­ing for her wed­ding to girl­friend Kristin next month.

‘‘ We’re get­ting mar­ried in Maui. Ev­ery­one’s wear­ing white. It’ll be re­ally pretty,’’ she said.

‘‘ I’m in an amaz­ing re­la­tion­ship. There’s some heartbreak on this al­bum . . . but I’m happy now.’’

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