MwL XXIV. David Essex, The Membranes, Zahara | Revista independiente de música

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MwL XXIV. David Essex, The Membranes, Zahara

Music without Levels XXIV

Teenager glam with David Essex

Updated post-punk by The Membranes

Zahara, pop singer-songwriters

Glam rock X: teenager Glam

In full glam era, as the counterpart of the dominant progressive rock, more adult and with intellectual traces, there was a revival of the teenager music fever. Idols that catered toward a young public that was not looking for authenticity appeared.  

Artists that exploited the fan phenomenon triumphed with covers of sixties songs, with refreshing vocal harmonies and a standard classicism. We can mention solo artists like Bobby Sherman and bands like the Scottish Bay City Rollers.

David Essex - Gonna Make You a Star (1974)

This is a track that was composed by Essex himself and was released as a single. Supported by the producer Jeff Wayne, this British showed off the best side of the sixty’s teen idols.   

In the phenomenon of glam pop for teens, bands formed by families stood out. Among them we can find psychedelic bands like The Cowsills, talented Mormon families like The Osmonds and the tv band The Partridge Family (a mom with her incredible children), in which the guitar and the voice of David Cassidy stuck out. Among the many gaps that Spanish pop rock suffered, one of them was adolescent idols. The closest attempts to the original concept were those of Miguel Bosé, Tequila, Pecos and Hombres G.

International: The Membranes

The Membranes was a historic post punk band based in Manchester (United Kingdom). They were active since 1977 and influenced the staggering noise rock scene that starred artists like New York’s Sonic Youth. 

Their leader John Robb reformed the band in 2009, giving them a fresh and updated sound that included the participation of a choir. Their records and concerts are acclaimed by music critics all over Europe.

The Membranes - What Nature Gives... Nature Takes Away (2019)

This is a track that’s credited to the whole band, released in their album of the same title. It’s a very different work that treats the themes of the beauty and violence of nature and the shortness of life.

The Membranes formed in Blackpool (United Kingdom), by a young group of post punk followers that worked on a fanzine. Starting from 1980, they released a series of singles and EPs that got the attention of John Peel, a prestigious BBC journalist. Settled in the fertile music scene of Manchester, during the eighties they released six albums that reached the radio stations of the United States, where they thrilled members of known bands that dominated the most avant-garde side of North American rock.

National: Zahara

Zahara is considered one of the biggest representatives of Spanish indie music. She belongs to a generation of folk singer-songwriters that were active between 2008 and 2009, that included, among others, Russian Red, Alondra Bentley and Anni B Sweet.

With a jazz background, she has been in a music career for more than twenty years, with five albums released, two books, numerous collaborations with other important artists and various participations in tv programs.

Zahara - Hoy la bestia cena en casa (2018)

This is a song composed by Zahara and Martí Perarnau, included in her album Astronauta. With its rhythm it makes a plea against cynical politician, “power with no empathy” and surrogacy.

María Zahara Gordillo Campos was born in Úbeda, in 1983. At only twelve years old she composed her first song. Her first record, self-released in 2005, was Día 913. After that, came La fabulosa historia de… (2009), with which she made herself known to the general public. In 2011, Zahara went back to self-management and published La Pareja Tóxica, a rawer and stripped-down album. In 2015, looking for creative freedom, she created her own label, G.O.Z.Z. Records, with which she released the albums Santa (2015) and Astronauta (2018). She also worked in theatre, radio and television.