Born in Spain, raised in London, and still with a sound that is wordy and unclassifiable, Gizmo Varillas writes bilingual pop that embraces elements from both countries. Tracks like “Summer Rain” use latin rhythms and flamenco guitar to transport listeners to a steamy hacienda in a far off place. 2017’s “Freedom For a Change” is more spritely, casting sunny melodies over optimistic lyrics.
New song “Saving Grace”, featuring the late, great afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, opens hauntingly with pan flutes whispering out of a mist, before a grooving guitar line and Allen’s drums widen the song into a hypnotic alt-folk-pop hybrid. Varillas’ inviting vocals dig in like a perfect ear worm.
Take a listen to a couple of these tracks in our World Watch Playlist, and let yourself be carried off to some cool, distant musical realms.