Theatrical alt-pop with jingly, clambering synths
Olly Telling

10:31 5th January 2017

Brian Eno has always been one of the most reliable seals of approval for music. Since leaving Roxy Music in 1973 he has, of course, worked with Bowie on his “Berlin Trilogy”, with Talking Heads on three of their greatest albums, as well as producing some of the biggest groups from the last 20 years – most of the acts on Eno’s roll call hardly need naming.

His latest project is with Portugese quartet The Gift, having recently collaborated with them on their single, ‘Love Without Violins’, he returns to contribute lyrics and production to new single ‘Clinic Hope’, unveiled today here on Gigwise.

The song celebrates the “joie de vivre”, coming as it does after a particularly, um, turbulent year, it might sound a little like a triumphant memorialisation of the “clinical” quality of all of life’s hope, happiness and love. The Gift’s jingly, clambering synths are the centre piece as organic drum sound and confident psych pop vocals that recall The Pet Shop Boys and East India Youth's most poppy stuff suck you into this extraordinary and addictive piece of music.

The lyrics recall the familiar redeeming virtue of essentially all music, an art that connects everyone on the most primordial level in spite of any hitches in society. But the exhibitionism of this familiar tune is perhaps well suited to the camp, alt-pop theatricality of The Gift.

The Gift originally formed in 1994 and are celebrated as one of the best bands in Portugal. Over the years, they've had some fantastic releases, including the 2011 album, Explode, which debuted at number one in Portugal’s music charts.

This latest release shows them continuing to innovate and expand their sound to new avenues and it makes their forthcoming album, which Brian Eno has leant his hand to throughout, seem like very exciting proposition indeed.

The Gift are set to represent their home country at Eurosonic 2017 on 11 January at Grand Theatre Main at 00:30 - it'll be an unmissable show.

Photo: Press