Zahara – “Santa” (2015) Album Review
I have been seriously into music from Spain lately and finding new music and artists is actually plentiful since for the most part I had focused on Mexican artists; Spain is a whole new world that I am barely tapping the surface. I found Zahara recently and thought she was a new artist, but to my surprise her 2015 album SANTA is actually her fourth studio album, though only this one is available on streaming services like Spotify.
As I sit here listening to the album, I know that I really like the album as a whole and I like how the album sounds familiar. It’s like I have heard it before but I know I haven’t. This makes it comfortable but at the same time I am having a hard time describing the feel of the album. I want to say it sounds like “such and such” but I’m not sure who “so and so” is. When I find that I am having trouble explaining myself, I go to my wife who can immediately hear what I can’t and explains it to me in a way that makes sense. Zahara’s sound on SANTA is very retro, almost like 80’s new wave infused with today’s electronic music. Many of the songs had a vibe that is similar to early Mecano that has been updated. There is a lot of European influences that you can here within the electronic sounds. It is completely 100% pop music.
This is what makes Spanish pop music different from other Latin countries pop music. A lot of artists in “Latin” communities are getting their sounds from the islands; but from Spain, the artists tend to experiment more and their indie scene is more like the US indie where the music is completely experimental and the chances are greater. I like that Zahara takes a retro feel and brings it current with today’s technology. I applaud this album as a whole.
The album was released in Spring of 2015 and allowed Zahara much success in Spain which sprung a concert tour and the album was reissued as a Limited edition with the Santa CD, a bonus CD of rarities, and a book of poems written by Zahara. Being on the forefront of the music industry, the album was released on CD as well as digital services, but I was amazed to find out that the album was also released on vinyl. I am finding more and more artists in Spain pushing vinyl where artists in Mexico and even Latin artists in the US have yet to go back to vinyl. It is proving that people are going back to physical media.