When Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero first met in Mexico City in 1989, it was the start of a formidable music-making partnership.
It’s been a five-year wait since their last album, but guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are finally back with a newly evolved style.
Their sixth studio album—coming after their well-received “9 Dead Alive” album from 2014—is called “Mettavolution,” and it drops April 26.
Back in January, the pair gave fans a taste of what’s to come with a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes.”
The song, nearly 19 minutes long, begins as tranquil and atmospheric before it shifts into something more brooding and intricate, flavored with the band’s characteristic flamenco-style strumming.
Of course, this isn’t Rodrigo y Gabriela’s first acoustic re-imagining of a celebrated classic.
Back in 2006, they shot into the public eye with their jaw-dropping and sophisticated cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” which gave rock fans a version of the song that brought out entirely new dimensions.
That same year, they made their debut on Ameri- can television as musical guests on “Late Show with David Letterman,” playing the pulse-pounding “Diablo Rojo,” a song from their eponymous second album.
In addition to having their music featured in TV shows and in films—for instance, working in 2010 with the legendary Hans Zimmer to score “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,”—they also performed at the White House for then-president Barack Obama.
For years, the duo has proven just how adept they are at being utterly in sync with each other, weaving together dynamic rhythms (which Gabriela impressively supplies on the front of her guitar) and dueling melodic parts.
Though they have plenty of original songs, they
always manage to make cover songs sound like their own, as well, continually finding new ways to generate unique sounds and beats from two acoustic guitars.
It’s evident the duo has, as Nick Hasted of the Independent observed, “absorbed influences voraciously” since their formation.
Mexico City’s heavy metal scene certainly had its lasting imprint on them, as well as more traditional Latin music. Listeners can also clearly detect the blues, jazz, and folk influences, as well—combined, of course, with a trace of the undefinable.
Hasted concludes that “for all their commercial oddness and creative curiosity, Rodrigo y Gabriela’s secret is maybe quite simple. They are resourceful musicians who can really play, and open-hearted, happy entertainers.”
“That, very often,” he adds, “is what people want.”
It seems as though this year’s “Mettavolution” will be just that: exactly the kind of innovation and reinvention that fans want and expect from the duo.