Many bands don’t accomplish in their lifetime what GILT has managed to do before even dropping their first album. Anyone plugged into the Florida DIY scene has likely been hearing their band’s name for a few years now, as the group had been steadily growing their fanbase playing shows across the Sunshine State and touring outside of it as much as possible. The band has even thrown their own festival, Snipfest, that played shows across Florida to raise money to pay for friends’ top surgeries, with LGBTQ+ artists filling out the bills. Snipfest 1 was so successful that it lead to a sequel that saw shows spread out in just about every major city in Florida, raising even more money for their friends in need. GILT sparsely released music in their first three years active, dropping a solid EP and a few splits, focusing on playing better in front of crowds. GILT spent the majority of those years on the road fine tuning the songs that they knew would eventually become their debut record. Earlier this year, thanks to the dire state of our country and planet, GILT was afforded the time to finally put those tracks to wax, and just last month they finally released their fantastic debut album, “Ignore What’s Missing”.
GILT has, since their beginning, spoken candidly about mental and physical health issues, and have always been strong advocates for LGBTQ+ causes. Everyone in the band is somewhere under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, and they are very proud of the multiracial and multicultural influences that each band member brings to the table. That shines through in their music as just about every track on “Ignore What’s Missing” talks about issues that hit close to home for LGBTQ+ people, taking issues like mental health, body dysphoria, and gender dysphoria head on. They often draw sonic comparisons to early 2000’s emo bands like Cursive and Mewithoutyou, and while there are certainly tracks that would feel at home on “The Ugly Organ” GILT’s diverse line up helps them keep a well varied sound. GILT’s two vocalists, lead Tyler Fieldhouse and back-up Nico Bacigalupo, compliment each other marvelously. “Blue Ink Pen” feels like if Arcade Fire went hardcore, with Tyler warbling like Will Butler as Nico coos back at him like Régine Chassagne. It’s an epic track that’s feels ready to soundtrack a standoff between two cowboys, as the quiet verses draw you into the gunshot of a refrain before things get solemn and contemplative as the winner’s regret sets in, leading into the final a smash of a close. The album is full of tracks that roller coaster between the massive loud highs and their tender quiet lows, constantly keeping you on your toes. GILT can also jam the night away and have tracks like “What Color Is The Light When It’s Turns Off” that will have many basement, bars, and backyards moving their feet whenever it’s safe to do so again.
“Ignore What’s Missing” is the culmination of many years of hard work on the road making friends, converting them to fans, and honing their craft. Taking as much time as they did allowed the band to come into this first LP with a fully formed sound and sense of self. Part of the reason I think the band garners comparisons to those early 2000s emo bands is because they sound like they got the budget that you might have been able to get for an album like this in 2002; These tracks are all clean, pristine, and sound like they come from a fully formed artistic vision. GILT knows exactly what they want to do and how they want to do it: They want to write songs that will make LGBTQ+ folk feel less alone while still absolutely rocking the fuck out, and in every regard “Ignore What’s Missing” is a smashing success.