Gabriel Petra – Talking to the Moon

With the nigh coming down on Lisbon, Gabriel Petra warmed the audience with his distinct vocal power and full-produced songs.

All photos by Catarina Lopes

Since we started this blog three years ago, we got to know more and more new bands and artists. That relationship sometimes grows in a way we can ultimately setup our balcony for a live intimate show. On a not so distant Sunday at the end of March, Gabriel Petra and his band played introduced his debut EP in one of their first ever live shows.

At the end of March, the hour was yet to change when Gabriel Petra and his band first got into the carpet stage to play their first songs. We actually had to change the order a bit, with less and less day-light to video record, and with the marvelous and genuine That Side of Paradise opening up to Gabriel’s set, we asked Gabriel to play a song at first.

That song was Talking to the Moon, a gorgeous indie-pop song with layers anthemic vocals, guitar riffs, and simple drums, but which sonority sounds highly addictive because of the high melodic flow. The vocals are evidently the highlight of the song, with just a little bit of reverb, it is obvious from the beginning both the range and harmonies of Gabriel Petra’s vocals. Sort of circular in terms of structure there is something about Talking to the Moon that we can’t quite explain but that makes the song grow from start to end. Easy-listening but also quite immersive if the listener wants to, this is a highlight of the year for us. Watch their live performance below.

During the rest of the show, Gabriel Petra played each song of his debut EP Love Is Not For Me including a re-performance of Talking to the Moon (the second track of the EP). This is a highly produced EP that ensures the debut of a Jazz-formed vocalist and artist that no rare times sounds capable of reaching Dave Matthews kind of raw strong vocals.

That vocal tone is evident in RIVER, the first song of the EP. Easy to sing along and very easy to feel involved around, it is perhaps the perfect introduction into an EP that perfectly merges pop nuances with Jazz and RnB influences.

Deeper and more vocal based is LINFM. More sensible and intimate than the two first songs, this is closer to Gabriel’s debut track Made of Stone and has a very generous sonority in the way it can warm the listener while still sounding like a true pop ballad.

Keeping that ballad vibe but sounding deeper than any other song is Remedy for a Broken Heart. Very ambitious for a debut singer-songwriter this is yet another song that perfectly demonstrates the soul power of Gabriel Petra’s vocals and the reason we fell in love with him from the first seconds we listened to him. The vocal layers produced into the song are filled with good-taste and sensibility and are perfectly merged with the deep drums and the sensible piano bits. And that’s why the last track of the EP is for us the one that represents the biggest achievement in terms of sound production. 

In sum, this is an ambitious debut EP from the aspiring indie-soul Portuguese singer-songwriter and one that the music world should be listening very attentively too. From our part, we keep the memories of listening to it live and can testify on the power of Gabriel Petra songs to warm an audience.

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