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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with The Gift’s Sónia Tavares

the gift Sónia Tavares

Portuguese alt-pop quartet The Gift are back with their brand new single ‘Clinic Hope’. Working alongside the legendary Brian Eno once again, they have created an uplifting track which will make you want to dance away your January blues.

‘Clinic Hope’ is the kind of track which will make you want to break free from your mundane day-to-day routine and really let loose. In fact, that’s exactly what is represented in the music video for the track, which was released today. Directed by Carleton Ranney (Jackrabbit), the compelling visual sees Logan Cunningham deliver a striking performance. He stars as a New Yorker liberating himself by escaping the city chaos through music.

Reflecting on the recent events to hit the city and the nation, Ranney explains: “The video also is a meta representation of what music is to me. I feel that great music finds you, it comes out of nowhere and suddenly you’re drawn to it. This ultimately leads you to a community of people, who share the same connection you have.”

The Gift have kicked off 2017 in style with the release of ‘Clinic Hope’. They have a promising year ahead, including a highly anticipated performance at Eurosonic tonight. Taking time out of their busy schedule, we recently caught up with The Gift’s Sónia Tavares, to discuss ‘Clinic Hope’, touring, working with Brian Eno and what 2017 has in store for the band.

Check out our interview with Sónia below.

Thank you for talking to us today! Can you tell us more about your new single, ‘Clinic Hope’?

Well, for starters it’s quite a different song from the first single (‘Love Without Violins’ feat. Brian Eno) we released a couple of weeks ago. It’s more upbeat and intends to show a certain joie de vivre, turning a grey, normal day into something else, more colourful, a day that for a while switches into a dance floor.

I imagine that the recording and writing process for your music is often individual to the song, so what was it like for ‘Clinic Hope’?

Everything with Brian is very visual so we always tried to create sessions or long talks so that me and Nuno could be on the same page. It wasn’t always easy but it was always amazing. This particular song came up while we were talking about Botero’s (the sculptor) daughter lovely smile when Brian met her. We tried to put it into music then.

The track is a collaboration with the legendary Brian Eno. You’ve worked with him before and he’s co-produced and co-written your forthcoming album – what’s it like to work with him?

Everything in this album is a collaboration between me, Nuno (Gonçalves) and Brian. The whole thing. In a way we stopped making scenarios and creating expectations about the fact we were working with a legendary producer. Brian took it into a more personal way and involved us so much in the process that we weren’t thinking with whom we were or how lucky we were, just working hard with a highly creative and enthusiastic person.

You’ve released a music video for ‘Clinic Hope’ – can you tell us about the concept behind it?

Together with Carlton Ranney (whom we worked previously), we feel it depicts a summoning, a calling, into a better place. A break from the grey into a multicoloured, multicultural place. A place for everyone where that “lust for life” can be celebrated at any time.

You’ll be performing at Eurosonic 2017. What can fans expect from your set?

For us it’s quite an opportunity to showcase some new songs and to play what we think it’s best from our old repertoire. It’s hard to speak about your own performance without getting carried away and overstate, but the fact is that playing live for us on a stage is The Gift at its best. So don’t hesitate to join us and have a great time at Eurosonic.

You’ve also been confirmed for SXSW and are scheduling a London show. What do you love most about performing?

It’s hard to pin down the right emotion but I feel that the stage reconciles everything. It’s a chance to right the wrongs, make peace, contact with what brought you there in the first place. The best about it is when you are unable to define it, as it remains a bit of a mysterious thing, just like the calling on our video.

You originate from Portugal. How has the country influenced your music style and taste?

I think Portugal is important. It’s more than a musical thing for us. It’s quite strange but the country has a power over us that influence our likings and influences in music. A bit like the Icelandic bands, there’s a sort of identity that sucks us in even though we sing in English and are mostly fans of foreign music. There was some dark wave, early Pop bands from the eighties and nineties that were really great in Portugal but we always mixed those with what was happening outside of our country.

You’ve been in the music industry for over 20 years. What are the biggest changes you’ve faced throughout your career?

As long as you stay together and keep it creative, revolutions might happen (and they did), you’ll know how to adapt. Musicians excel at adapting and transforming and time does fly.

What can we expect from your new album?

I think it’s, hands down, the best album we ever wrote and of course we thank Brian for that knowing that we also did our part and committed to something that is independent, fresh and positive. We really take pride in what we did. We only hope that now we can bring this feeling to people all over the world.

Apart from your album, and the already announced shows, what can we expect from you in 2017?

The shows and the album release will be very important to spread the word. We will keep on pushing for our music to be listened as much as possible and try to land some festivals and club shows all around. So we will be keeping busy on that and enjoying what we did with this record and sharing with the fans.

Thank you to Sónia Tavares for her time.

‘Clinic Hope’ is available to download now.

Share your thoughts on The Gift with us on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Katrina Rees

I’m Katrina, or Kat to pretty much everyone. I’m a writer, charity shop manager, boyband lover and all round music fanatic.
Twitter: @lifeofkatrina
Email: katrinanaomirees@gmail.com

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