Aztlán – Zoé

A five-piece band from Mexico with a psychedelic rock style, Zoé rose to the top of the rock en español scene during the late 2000s. Their third album, the chart-topping breakout smash Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea (2006), earned the band an array of award nominations and the first of many Premio Oye! wins. Founded in Mexico City in 1994, the band underwent a few years of lineup changes before solidifying into a quintet comprised of León Larregui (vocals), Sergio Acosta (lead guitar), Jesús Báez (keyboards), Angel Mosqueda (bass), and Beto Cabrera (drums). In association with Sony Music, Zoé made their eponymous full-length debut in 2001. The album was largely unsuccessful despite the release of multiple singles. Looking to a make a change with its second album, the band got together with Phil Vinall, who had mixed their full-length debut. A veteran British producer whose credits include albums by Placebo, Gene, and the Auteurs, in addition to work with Radiohead, Elastica, and Pulp. Vinall’s experience in the mid-’90s British scene was well-suited to the band’s alternative rock influences. Second album Rocanlover (2003) was an improvement over the first. The band’s style was more fully realized. After a few years of modest if not major success, Zoé and Sony Music parted ways. In 2005, faced with limited resources, the band put out The Room, an independently released eight-track EP featuring the smash hit single “Dead.” In association with EMI and once again with Vinall in the production seat, Zoé skyrocketed to the top of the rock en español scene in 2006 with critically acclaimed third album Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea. Similar in style and likewise impressive, the certified platinum follow-up effort Reptilectric (2008) was another blockbuster hit. An MTV Unplugged album titled Música de Fondo arrived in 2011, followed by the experimental Prográmaton, their fifth studio long player, in 2013. The concert LP called 8.11.14 followed two years later. In 2017, the band was the subject of the documentary film Zoé: Panoramas, for which they also released an accompanying soundtrack. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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