All at once an assault on the ears but just as satisfying to the soul as a juicy secret, The Gossip may be the best rumor to make its way to Madison in a while.

Formed in 1999 with its roots in the southern state of Arkansas, The Gossip, which plays the Majestic this Saturday in a Majestic and indieQueer-sponsored performance, is the forging of talents from vocalist Beth Ditto, drummer Hannah Blilie and guitarist Nathan “Brace Paine” Howdeshell. Their sound comes together around a swirling mix of disco-inspired dance beats and bluesy solitude, wrapped up under a balls-to-the-walls punk aesthetic — a mix that is just now winning listeners in the States.

But before a widespread U.S. audience began talking, The Gossip was another case of Britain knows best, as whisperings of the three-set began in the land of Union Jack.

“England really … started championing us a few years ago,” guitarist Nathan Howdeshell said in an interview with The Badger Herald. “We stayed over there touring a lot. We got offered to play festivals over there. America can really … be a harder thing to break into.”

The Gossip is another in an extensive line of alternative American bands — The White Stripes and The Strokes are just a few — to plant its musical beginnings across the pond. Howdeshell explored this, explaining the UK’s ability to foster more diverse genres.

“The radio over here is super-controlled. And in England and Europe, the radio is really controlled by the DJs, …where in America, it’s really only alternative-rock music or country music.”

Certainly coverage from high-profile bloggers hasn’t hurt the band’s success. “Queen of All Media” Perez Hilton began tracking the band — specifically Ditto — back in June of 2007. The band even made a surprise appearance on the blogger’s Perez Hilton Presents Tour.

“[Perez Hilton] writes about us from time to time, which is kind of nice,” Howdeshell said, adding, “We try not to be involved in that … world.”

Rightfully so — The Gossip is more than water-cooler talk — Ditto is an icon alone for gay rights, as well as her work toward promoting a more healthy body image. However, it’s her quirky baditude — and fierce fashion sense — combined with a set of ferocious pipes that has helped the group emerge into a more mainstream market.

That, and the band’s non-exclusionary approach to its sound.

“We just kind of wanted to tackle different genres. We thought it would be interesting,” Howdeshell said, adding, “I’m kind of a sucker for Garth Brooks.”

Music for Men, the band’s Oct. 6 release, is a more-polished approach to the band’s Motown-meets-Studio 54 sound. The album’s first single, “Heavy Cross,” showcases Ditto at her best as she purrs, moans and cries, her vocals slinking over Howdeshell’s stretching, reverb-heavy guitar and Blilie’s clashing percussion like a feral cat. Tracks like album-opener “Dimestore Diamond” and “8th Wonder,” which offer more of that garage-rock edge from the band’s 2006 album, Standing in the Way of Control.

Work with super-producer Rick Rubin, who approached the band himself to work on this latest endeavor, has certainly influenced the band’s direction, seemingly leading it in a more dance-themed direction.

“It was amazing. He’s like a weird philosopher and middle-aged guru,” Howdeshell said. “He’s really mystical.”

This same intangible element plays into The Gossip’s live performances, as much buzz has been made over the threesome’s raucous sets.

“We’re friends, and we have a good time together,” Howdeshell said. “It’s also the audience. … We get asked to open for bigger bands, and we always say ‘no’ because it’s harder to connect with the audience. …That’s really important to us.”

Just as the band’s namesake has the power to affect lives, The Gossip also seems destined to take the Majestic down with it. Tell your friends.

The Gossip plays the Majestic this Saturday with opener Men. General admission tickets cost $20 in advance or day of show.