New York rock quintet GIFT announce their new album and Captured Tracks-debut entitled Illuminator today, to be released on August 23rd. A dynamic fusion of genres, perfectly blending electronic elements with widescreen pop production techniques, Illuminator is the sophomore record and follow-up to Momentary Presence that finds the young band remarkably fully formed. Upon inception in 2020, GIFT’s band members have roots all over the world (Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Boston and Brazil, to be exact), had never performed together, and came from vastly different professional backgrounds – specifically photography, talent buying, DJing, audio engineering, art directing, and even DIY venue ownership. The melting pot of these varied skills and walks of life helps make Illuminator an even more miraculously cohesive listening experience from one of the most exciting new bands in the NYC music scene.


GIFT also share another preview of Illuminator with “Going In Circles.” Following the critically acclaimed previously released single “Wish Me Away,” “Going In Circles,” exemplifies a newfound confidence and versatility. The band’s vocalist/guitarist TJ Freda shares:


“This was the first song I wrote for Illuminator that helped me realize the direction of the album. I wrote the chorus while passively playing guitar and rushed to record the idea. At that moment, something clicked and I realized where the album was going. At our shows from the Momentary Presence tour, people would stand in the crowd wide-eyed without moving. We wanted to get people moving with the new album, so we were really inspired by bands like Primal Scream, Oasis and Massive Attack. It’s our psych-rock tribute to U.K. rave culture in the ‘90s.

“The song is about the endless cycle of a relationship, the back and forth in both euphoria and doubt. The chorus “I never told you why’ is about never being able to say how you really feel, not having closure and the cycle continuing.”

The year 2020 sure wasn’t the most ideal time to form a band, especially for a group of musicians who never played together before. Indeed, frontman TJ Freda assembled New York rock quintet GIFT by cherry-picking members of some of his favorite other bands, crossing his fingers and hoping for the best.


Having assembled on a lark in the Big Apple from roots as diverse as Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Brazil and Boston, the musicians leaned on their collective deep experiences in numerous non-performing aspects of the biz as part of settling on a bold new sound – a dizzying blend of early shoegaze, classic ‘90s alternative rock and even modern pop.


Indeed, that GIFT emerged somewhat fully formed on their 2022 debut album Momentary Presence was a testament to the untapped creative potential laying deep within, and it wasn’t long before the band was pricking up the ears of adventurous listeners both at home and across the Atlantic Ocean.


Now, Illuminator, their Aug. 23 debut album for revered New York independent label Captured Tracks, is the long-awaited payoff of GIFT’s ever-growing musical and human chemistry. And while nods are apparent to label forerunners such as Beach Fossils, DIIV and Wild Nothing, GIFT are shepherding those elements into wondrous new vessels for the present moment – sleek, often danceable and frequently mesmerizing.

29 mei 2024
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