El Dorado by Gizmo Varillas
Happy April guys!
I'm sat writing April's Album of the Month on a beautiful Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and the window open, which is the perfect setting for this month's recommendation, the debut album by Gizmo Varillas 'El Dorado'.
Gizmo Varillas is a native to Santander in Spain but has spent the majority of his life based in the UK, living both in Cardiff and London. He initially aspired to be a documentary maker but was diverted from that course while as he describes it 'busking for food and accommodation in the south of France' - I guess its always nice to see people become successful artists seemingly by accident!
El Dorado is a laid back affair, which manages to be simultaneously mellow and funky, I initially assumed Gizmo was Central or South American due to the feel of his music and especially his guitar playing, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the majority of the album was recorded in his bedroom in the UK! The DIY production is most evident when looking at the album length, the 12 songs come in at a digestible 32 minutes, there is no filler on this album, no empty solos to get a song over the 3 minute mark, everything you hear is warranted. I've even found myself listening to the album back to back a couple of times without realising as it's so easy to get lost in.
'Freedom for a Change' is the song off El Dorado which initially got me hooked, again this is a song which very much as a Latin feel to the music, Gizmo's opening guitar work is so catchy I defy you to not start the song again.
In my opinion the other three stand out tracks from El Dorado are 'Gotta Getaway', 'No War',which has an interesting John Lennon sample in and 'Give a Little Love' where Gizmo's leg tapping guitar playing at it's very best and sounds like it could have been lifted right off a white sand beach in Central America.
El Dorado is album which makes you want to be outside with a beer, its as simple as that. With the weather beginning to turn this could easily become the soundtrack to your summer! I was reading a couple of reviews and Clash magazine summed it up perfectly by describing his first LP as a 'collection of sunshine hymns', and if that doesn't encourage you to give it a listen then nothing will!
Thanks for reading and let me know if you enjoy the album!