When you hear the opening notes of “Let It Be by Me,” the first track off of The Gift’s newest album, you might be surprised to find that the deep, sultry voice of the lead singer is none other than Sonia Tavares: a woman.
“I’m Portuguese,” she explained in a recent interview, “I speak loud and low. My voice is not frilly.”
Incidentally this is a statement that sums up the entire album. Explode lacks the so called frills of femininity, opting instead to rely heavily on Taveres’ pleasingly harsh vocals, which gives the otherwise sameness of the genre a unique twist. Over all, the album feels exploratory, as though Sonia and her band mates (Nuno Gonçalves, John Gonçalves, and Miguel Ribeiro) had experimented with sounds and textures before finally birthing their style – a techno, garage rock sort of music that is shockingly delightful.
Even better, the group manages to avoid the presumptuousness of some techno artists, weaving passion into each song that makes for a wildly compelling and original work of art.