Tastemakers: What's BBC Radio 6 Music's Chris Hawkins listening to this week?

Tastemakers: What's BBC Radio 6 Music's Chris Hawkins listening to this week?

BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Chris Hawkins on Gizmo Varillas’ Dreaming Of Better Days

I love it when I find an album that suits a season. The bluesy folk of The Barr Brothers – Queens Of The Breakers was my soundtrack to the harsh winter past and for this summer,

I’ve already booked in the new one by Gizmo Varillas. With a textbook build over the last 18 months, he’s now ready to remind you that the world’s not all bad and that, actually, it can be a very beautiful place.

With Dreaming Of Better Days, due in May, the heart of Varillas’ sound is pop-folk, but he also blends salsa with flamenco and Latino vibes and words that, on occasion, dealwith challenging
subject-matter.

He’s something of a specialist in mixing serious lyrics with happy music. It’s a skill that, despite the sadness, gives hope.

Comparisons with Paul Simon are obvious, in a most complimentary way. Also, think Jack Johnson, Paolo Nutini, Ben Howard and the subtle craftsmanship of Devendra Banhart.

This second album has an air of beautiful confidence, and includes songs in Varillas’ native Spanish.

It’s next-level stuff. It’s a record to enjoy on asun-kissed beach, or at the very least, to make you dream you are on one.


Chris Hawkins
DJ (BBC Radio 6 Music)

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