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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Live Show Review: Tom Goss

What do pop music, Catholic priesthood, gay rights and Washington State have in common? Gay, indie pop songwriter Tom Goss, a Washington native who abandoned his first chosen profession of becoming a Catholic priest, now takes his quest to spread love beyond the secular to the stage. Though he no longer seeks the conduit of Christianity for his message, Goss intends not to lose his focus with his newest album release Back To Love. Openly gay and marriage to his partner in the near future, his songs not only promote social justice in the gay community, but also discuss familial love and camaraderie between friends and the quest for and loss of love.

This past week, on a slow Monday night at Athens’ Little Kings Shuffle Club, Goss and his opener Mara Levi played a short set for a small crowd of townies. Though the showing was a bit disappointing, it no doubt had nothing to do with the quality of the musicians. Goss and Levi both seemed to posses a passion that they were planning to give out to anyone who had the ears to listen. This kind of determination leads to loyal fans and will no doubt ensure that Goss has many more opportunities to spread the word of love via stage shows.

Though he isn’t a big name as of yet, because of his pride and openness about his sexuality, Goss’ popularity among the LGBT community is undeniable, being labeled such things as “the new gay” by many publications, forums, and social justice groups. However, his sexual preference does not fully define Goss as an artist. His musical talent extends beyond simply writing controversial lyrics and shooting videos promoting same-sex love.

Goss’ lyrics add depth to his pop-like sound and his simplistic melodies liken him to acoustic wonders such as Jack Johnson and Damien Rice. Successfully molding meaningful lyrics into songs that will get stuck in his listeners’ heads makes Goss a unique songwriter. No doubt, the subject matter of his music takes a journey through his self-discovery and finding ultimate love in his partner and provides a great musical support for someone going through a same, or similar, situation.

With no sold out shows or signed labels in sight, Goss doesn’t plan on gunning for the fame of the music industry. He has no worries about being a small-time artist and just hopes to reach as many people as possible with his message and music.

Most popular for his new track “Till The End,” and its homemade-quality video, Goss portrays love between every sex, race, and relation. Watch below as Goss tells the love story of “186 years combined.” The lighting and use of normal individuals make it an obvious low-budget film, but overall it is sweet natured and gets across the intended message.

Back To Love tracklist:

1. Forty Years
2. Back To Arkansas
3. Till The End
4. Take Me On
5. Sometimes We Fall
6. Breakaway
7. Tumblin' Down The Mountainside
8. Lover
9. Separate Peace
10. O' Love
11. Legacy of Love

Purchase Back To Love, along with Goss' previous albums, here.

-Marie Baginski
Currently listening to "Maybe" by Ingrid Michaelson

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