Muisca Records (label)
05 June 2020 (released)
05 June 2020
Following the release of a string of singles over the last several months - ‘Born Again’, ‘Saving Grace’, ‘Danza De Sombras’ and ‘Out Of The Darkness - Gizmo Varillas this week finally release his third album ‘Out Of The Darkness’.
In the three years since the release ofhis debut, 2017’s El Dorado, Gizmo Varillas has developed from bedroom artist to one surrounded by other musicians, even living legends, while at the same time confronting, and reflecting upon, his own struggles. His last album, 2018’s Dreaming Of Better Days, found him trying to maintain his – and our – optimism while faced by a world that seems to have lost its way, but this triumphant third album was largely inspired by the events, both political and personal, that have since followed, and his efforts to overcome the problems they’ve presented.
These last two years haven’t been the easiest for the London-based Spaniard, whose music effortlessly combines styles from across the world, drawing upon his multicultural background and then extending its horizons yet further. Quite apart from troubling situations in both his adopted home and his motherland, Varillas found himself battling his own issues while also making the difficult transition, as an independent artist, from part-time to full-time musician. “OUT OF THE DARKNESS,” he confesses, “is a collection of songs about transformation, and about making it to the other side. This past year I’ve reflected a lot on the dark times I’ve overcome in my life. The theme came to me quite naturally.”
While dealing with some deep and personal themes, ‘Out Of The Darkness’ is anything but dark to listen to, with much of the album delivered with the most upbeat, sun-kissed feel and demeanour. Instantly, from the cascading strings and addictive baseline of opener ‘Love Over Everything’, the scene is set for the next 13 tracks. ‘Born Again’ follows suit in upbeat fashion, as does the incredible ’Saving Grace’. A dreamy, chilled-out track destined to soundtrack Ibiza sunset for years to come, it rides the most infectious afrobeat supplied by the now sadly-late Tony Allen, legendary drummer best know for his work with the likes of Fela Kuti and The Good, The Bad, and The Queen.
With a spirnking of tracks in his native Spanish, at 14 songs long 'Out Of The Darkness’ feels maybe a few tracks too long. But let that not put you off. Channeling the positivity and hopefulness of artists like Manu Chao and Paul Simon via his distinctive brand of bassline riding, groove filled indie-pop, ‘Out Of The Darkness’ is a beacon of light during these dark times.