No Hablo Español, Pero Amo A Vanessa Zamora Check out our thoughts and photos from her recent show in Los Angeles!
LOS ANGELES, CA- Music is a magical thing. You don’t have to understand it to have it put you in a mood. Sure, lyrics can give music a real layer of meaning to a composition, but for me, it’s the way the sonic vibrations come together in my ears and the feeling that that stimulus gives the rest of my body that, at the end of the day, really counts.
I can’t really remember how exactly how I got introduced to her music, but I have a feeling that I was listening to some Maná on a streaming service and a song of hers started to play. Whatever the case, I have Vanessa’s 2018 album Tornaluna “spinning” on my desktop on a regular basis … and I don’t speak a word of Espagnol.
There’s something just so refreshing and free-spirited on that album, and it’s always a pleasant listen. Stylistically it’s a pop album, but it’s sprinkled with a few flavors from everywhere. A touch of alt, a touch of new wave, some Billy Joel vibes, folk… it’s got a little bit of everything. And while you may think that the variety may dilute the direction of the album as a whole, what holds it all together is Vanessa’s chameleon-like voice; the essence of which stays the same throughout the album’s 10 tracks, but molds to fit the shape of each song kinda perfectly.
I vaguely recalled that I wanted to go a Vanessa Zamora performance … I think in 2018 … at the Roxy, but for some reason I didn’t. Wasn’t going to pass this opportunity up.
The first act to take the stage on this evening was a group called Estereomance. Hailing from El Paso, TX and Juarez Chihuahua, the core of this group is Manuel Calderon, Paulina Reza, and Adria Gabriela. Though this group may be new, each player has been in the game for a minute with Manuel making a name for himself as a producer at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX, Paulina getting featured as the vocalist on ODESZA’s “Everything At Your Feet” and Adria garnering acclaim as a multiinstrumentalist.
This was my first time hearing this band’s music, and I gotta admit, I was feeling what they were giving out. Dreamy, mellow and with a kind of retro-tinged atmosphere, their music was definitely something I could see myself sing me to sleep. Estereomance is all about setting a bedroom-pop vibe, and I’m all for it. I can’t wait for them to release more recorded music, cause I’d love to throw the song that they sing in the first video (click through the photo to check it out) post into a certain special playlist I have 😉
I was really excited to check out the following act, Loyal Lobos. Loyal Lobos is Andrea Silva and you should keep an eye out on this one. Her 2018 EP The Fall is a decent harbinger of what the future holds for her (I mean, it doesn’t’ get more beautiful than “Wrong”), but if her latest single “Criminals” from her forthcoming debut album executive produced by Teddy Geiger is any indication, we can expect layers upon layers of even more beautiful.
Andrea’s performance was as mellifluous as her vocals. Easy and laid back, she kind of woos you into her world with her voice then nonchalantly pours her heart out through her music. There is a general melancholy in her music (both lyrically and sonically), but it’s perfectly couched in her delicate soprano that you never feel overwhelmed by the emotions. It’s sad, but it’s too pretty to make you sad. Does that make sense?
And in case you felt the heaviness starting to creep in, Andrea took some time between songs to make humorous observations or confessions (i.e. she mentioned that she was feeling pretty naked on stage wearing a new outfit that she felt was revealing). That off-the-cuff observation, like her music, offers another slice of Andrea’s humanity that makes Loyal Lobos more relatable than most.
While Estereomance and Loyal Lobos performed songs in both Spanish and English, Vanessa Zamora’s set was, based on my notes and recollection, all in Spanish. While she did address the crowd in English at times, I would have needed an instant translator to understand anything she said.
That being said, I didn’t care. Vanessa’s performance was filled with such an overflow of joie de vivre that I could’ve cared less about what she was actually singing about. Her antics on stage, her infectious smile, the playful exchanges she had with her bandmates… all of it made the performance a pure joy to watch. She even jumped into the crowd on several occasions, handing out flowers and encouraging attendees to sing aloud with her. If I knew any Spanish, I would have been singing along with them.
There were a few moments during the performance that carried a little more gravitas as Vanessa discussed some issues that were bothering her in politics/society, even going into the story of her sexuality, and while oftentimes politic-talk is frowned upon during a fun show (I had a person next to me give me a little translation), it all seemed organic and welcomed in this room, which is a testament of Vanessa’s ability to connect with a crowd and the never-fading joy that she brings.