Every moment is a gift. Each moment has richness, complexity, and singularity. Once it’s gone, it can’t be recaptured. Can you be present? Can you open yourself up and appreciate it in its fullness — the ugliness and confusion as well as the beauty and joy? The members of the Brooklyn, NY psychedelic rock quintet GIFT believe you can. Momentary Presence, their debut set, is a chronicle of that chase, and a celebration of the eternal now. Those teachings, drawn from Be Here Now, the 1971 spiritual guide and counterculture landmark by guru Ram Dass, feel particularly relevant in 2022. GIFT bandleader TJ Freda, applied those lessons to his own search for peace. He’s discovered transcendence through music: he and his bandmates Jessica Gurewitz, Kallan Campbell, Justin Hrabovsky, and Cooper Naess have a knack for conjuring soundscapes that are simultaneously turbulent and gorgeous. Right in the middle of those mixes you’ll find Freda himself, commanding the storm, lighting lamps in the midst of turmoil, singing about psychic destabilization and the quest for balance, in a voice that feels like a caress. Momentary Presence is a natural match for the new label co-founded by Oliver Ackermann of New York City noise-rock and psychedelic legends A Place to Bury Strangers and Death by Audio. Out on Dedstrange Records on Oct. 14, 2022. The album also introduces TJ Freda as a sorcerous and versatile home-recording engineer. He can get guitars and synths to melt all over the track as he does on “Gumball Garden,” he can summon the ravishing sweep of “Share the Present,” and he can conjure a track as radiant as “Feather,” all in the confines of his Brooklyn apartment. Momentary Presence contains recordings that seem to tease something seismic coming around the corner, like the brief but glorious instrumental “Dune;” it also contains dense, layered productions that feel complete, definitive, and impermeable, like “Pinkhouse Secret Rave.” The arc-like trip from the shimmering opener “When You Feel It Come Around” to the hypnotic closer “Here And Now (Time Floats By)” feels like a genuine journey — the sort of assured forty-minute trajectory that is only realized by musicians who appreciate the full-length as a work of art. And if that’s all that there was to GIFT, Momentary Presence would still qualify as one of the most promising psychedelic rock debuts in a very long time. But the remarkable thing about TJ Freda is how much personality he’s able to inscribe in these tracks. Yes, he’s entertaining us with gorgeous, spectrum-saturating sound — fascinating sound that draws from the best of shoegaze, dream pop, noise rock and post-punk. But he’s also the whisperer in our ears, the magician with a highly personal tale to tell. Like all of us, Like all of us, Freda has been through plenty over the last few years; relocation, heartbreak, and crises in the lives of those close to him. Momentary Presence is a meditation on working through the anxiety and self doubt that we all, at one point, carry. He's got a group of likeminded collaborators who share his quest for perfect sound, harmony during times of trouble, and radical openness. Gurewitz, Campbell, Hrabovsky, and Naess understand the mission of the group, and their approach is an expression of the desire to live in the moment. Together with Freda, they’ve crafted a live experience that extends the spell that the album casts, and pushes the songs in wildly improvisatory directions. They’ve been selling out shows in Brooklyn for awhile now. It's only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on. This message, this music — this GIFT — is for everyone.