The Gift’s ‘Summer’ started simple but gained ambition

The Gift is preparing to release a new album, ‘Summer’, born of the “drive” to make a “simple” and “fast-recorded” album, but which has, however, gained “muscle” and turned out to be a more ambitious album than expected.

“Quickly, when I started to record it, I realized that the record had the potential to be more ambitious than a piano and voice record,” said composer Nuno Gonçalves.

‘Verano’, to be edited at the end of the month, was born of a ‘similar impulse’ to the recording of ‘Primavera’, disc of 2012, recorded in a few days at the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) in Lisbon, where the band he isolated himself at that point.

The idea was this year to make a “simple record, quickly recorded” and “where the intimate side was very present”.

“I did not want to do ‘Primavera’ part two, I wanted to do ‘Summer’.” Although it is melancholic, it is a record a little more muscular, more rhythmic. day “says the musician from Alcobaca.

To help in production, as well as part of the songwriting, the group went back to producer Brian Eno, who had previously collaborated with the band on the previous Altar in 2017.

Eno, confided Nuno Gonçalves, was to go to Alcobaça, “but decided this year not to fly,” having nonetheless sought train possibilities to arrive from the United Kingdom to Portugal. Nuno Gonçalves, singer Sónia Tavares and the band’s sound engineer eventually moved to British soil.

‘Verão’ includes two tracks in Portuguese, namely the title track, which will be the album’s first single.

The Gift marks 25 years of their career this year and is currently on the road – at the same time as they finish the finishing touches on the new album – with the “Primavera / Verão” tour that will take them to theaters around the country until the middle of May.

Nuno Gonçalves, now 41, says “at this stage of life and career” not having “much to prove to anyone”.

“I have no debt to anyone, possibly to Sonia, John, and Miguel [rest of The Gift], who blindly believe in me. If I say I want to make a record with pan flutes they will eventually say that Yes, but I hope I never get that idea, “he says, laughing.

About the current moment of Portuguese music, Nuno Gonçalves stresses that “Portugal is becoming more Lisbon”, which “saddens”.

“Decentralization in music was not a utopia, it was a true thing,” he continues, after regretting having heard on a national radio a band announced as ” being of Viseu but who already lives in Lisbon “.

Born as a band in 1994 in Alcobaça, The Gift is formed by Nuno Gonçalves, John Gonçalves, Sónia Tavares and Miguel Ribeiro, being accompanied live and in the studio by musicians like Mário Barreiros (drums) or Paulo Praça (guitar).

The first mockup of the group, Digital Atmosphere, appeared in 1997, and from there to there were several albums that they published: ‘Vinyl’ (1998), ‘Film’ (2001), ‘AM-FM’ (2004) ‘Easy to Understand’ (2006) ‘Explode’ (2011), ‘Spring’ (2012) and ‘Altar’ (2017).

Between ‘Easy to Understand’ (2006) and ‘Explode’ (2011), composer Nuno Gonçalves and singer Sónia Tavares were involved in the project Amália Hoje, recovering the legacy of the fado singer Amália Rodrigues for pop land.

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