Gina Villalobos is a songwriter already known for her willingness to dwell unflinchingly in reality, something of a lost art. The heart’s most truly held dreams are held up in all their vulnerable lucidity and the spectra of loss and dreams only half-fulfilled loom with an unavoidable ache. Each song on SOLA has lines and melodies that scrape away the layers of denial that get us through the every day, therefore this album is not for the faint-hearted, but for those honest souls who want to rescue what’s been hidden at the core. Like the realist short stories of Raymond Carver, her songs are visceral anthems in which one senses the bottom has fallen out and in making visible the seriousness of what’s at stake, these songs affirm the knowing that possibility has always existed…and in fact still exists. In an era when most roots-oriented songwriting reaches for relevance by hanging onto tropes that feel outdated and nostalgic, the songs on SOLA are shocking in their ability to capture the grave emotional tone of our surreal collective current moment.
Villalobos became one of the most acclaimed new artists in the alternative country community with her breakthrough album, 2005’s Rock N Roll Pony when legendary BBC disc jockey Bob Harris called it “a contender for album of the year.” Her follow-up release, Miles Away, increased her profile when the press cemented the album as “timeless and combines every element that makes a recording a classic…” (PASTE MAGAZINE).
Villalobos’ fourth solo album, Days on Their Side, reveals “a new depth with the slightest shift in light…taking the Lucinda Williams model to a new level.” (AMERICAN SONGWRITER MAGAZINE). Her most recent offering, Sola was described as “confident & instantly addictive.” (MOJO MAGAZINE)
In late 2015, Villalobos wrote and produced music for the Golden Globe Award– and Emmy Award-winning Amazon Studios TV show Transparent. The derivative work of the 1971 Sly and the Family Stone hit “Family Affair” featured the vocals of Ruby Friedman and was used in the trailer promoting the launch of the show’s second season.
Villalobos is nothing if not dead serious. Her music is deeply rooted in time, place, and history. She’s the real thing: an artist, someone who can show you where you are.