PLAYING DETROIT: Gosh Pith “Gold Chain”

osh Freed (left) and Josh Smith of Goth Pith. Photograph: Kristin Adamczyk/Shane Ford

I first met Gosh Pith during their soundcheck last month at the Royal Oak Music Theatre while opening for JR JR. I remember walking across the stage and making a snap judgment on their appearance, assuming I knew what they were going to sound like (something I am guilty of time to time). I had almost made it to the stairs leading to the green room when Josh Smith released his voice into the empty theatre without music to back him. It was soulful. It was sincere. It was sensual. It was completely unexpected. “Did that sound alright?” Paralyzed with the realization that I was wrong (and happily so), the other half of the self-described “cosmic trap” duo, Josh Freed, interjected his sultry, carbonated, synth beats which moved me from my frozen stance of disbelief. Smith joined in, and I was suddenly, without wavering doubt, a Gosh Pith fan.

Last week Gosh Pith released “Gold Chain,” the first single on their independently released EP due out next year. The EP could rival The Weeknd, The Neighborhood, and likely any literal weekend or neighborhood. Freed and Smith seamlessly weave indie pop with alternative R&B with a tenderness and clarity that you’d only anticipate from seasoned multi-genre artists. “Gold Chain” is a balancing act, and Gosh Pith commits to handling the track’s softness and its expletive fervor with equal care.

“Gold Chain” shares a common thread with Gosh Pith’s overall catalogue: thoughtful and tapered production. Every element is purposeful and polished with enough room to breathe. When fusing electronic beats with guitar parts and poppy, melancholic vocals, it would be an easy out to over produce or to cram convoluted, excessive texturing into the track’s tight two minutes. The use of restraint is impressive, and allows the duo to shine in their respective lights bound by their synchronistic veil of tone, mood, and sincerity.

The most intriguing element of “Gold Chain” is also my only hangup, but because I’m so intrigued it’s more of a curiosity than criticism. The abrupt ending infuriated me at first. One second I was swaying my hips in my office chair feeling compelled to text my boyfriend something sexy and sappy (something I think Gosh Pith intended to promote) and then suddenly the song dead ends with a dreamy reverb guitar strum. I felt sort of abandoned. Upon a second and third listen I realized my anger was with wanting more. Not because they didn’t give enough, but because the story felt real enough to care. I eagerly await the second act, wondering if they’ll pick up from where they left off.

Listen to “Gold Chain” below.

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