Vacaciones' effervescent, fun-loving sound owed as much to bubblegum pop acts like the Archies and the Banana Splits as it did to seminal indie pop bands like Talulah Gosh, Dolly Mixture, and Heavenly. It was the kind of sound that made them fit right in on the Spain-based label Elefant Records' roster in the late '90s, which at that time featured likeminded groups like Los Fresones Rebeldes, Juniper Moon, and La Casa Azul. Ruth (vocals), Angel (bass), Rafa Skam (guitar), and Jose Alberto (drums) teamed up to form Vacaciones in the spring of 1998. A few months later, shortly after their first live performance (they played what would become one of their signature songs, "Poppy Girl," after a show that featured Los Fresones), vocalist Encarna was brought into the fold. Her stint with the group was short-lived; she amicably split with Vacaciones after their debut single, Dani, came out on Elefant in 1999. She was replaced by keyboardist/vocalist Ana, and the band rounded out the year on tour, sharing the stage with acts like the Frank and Walters and Marine Research. Vacaciones released two singles in 2000: Un Ano De... and a 7", Espero una Respuesta. Angel parted ways with the band after the singles were released, and Carlos was subsequently brought into the band on bass. Vacaciones spent the following year working on the tracks that would become their debut album; that release, Sonreir, came out on Elefant in 2002. A track from that album, "No Me Digas Que Me Quieres," was released as a single in 2003; the band also shot a music video for the song featuring a cameo by Amelia Fletcher. Vacaciones went on hiatus that year.
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