Mystery ‘90s band ‘Mazzy Star’ returns


Eric Casey, Staff Writer

If you’re unfamiliar with ‘90s dream pop band Mazzy Star I won’t judge you.  However, if you don’t know their moderate hit “Fade Into You” from 1994 then I might give you a puzzled look. Now that you just listened to it on Youtube I’ll continue.
Mazzy Star is consisted of lead singer Hope Sandoval who plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, tambourine, and glockenspiel.  She undeniably has one of the most underrated female voices of all time.  The other half of the duo is David Roback who plays guitar and keyboard.  They are an odd couple at best.  In fact, it’s pretty well known that Hope likes to sing on stage in the dark with just a dim light.
Mazzy Star’s fourth album titled “Seasons of Your Day” is the first release since 1996.  It debuted at #42 on the Billboard 200 albums chart earlier this month.  Even though it’s been a 17 year gap they were never inactive.  They did not stop writing or recording; they just did not release anything publically. What is also interesting is the fact that some of the songs on their new album may actually just be unreleased material dating back to 1997.
While some bands change their themes and tone style, Mazzy Star have stayed almost the same.  The music is still captivating as when they began in 1990.  First song off the new album “In the Kingdom” is very mellow and ambient.  It sounds like their older material or something that was left off a previous album.
The first single “California” feels like a song about reminiscing. It’s simply Hope Sandoval and a guitar in the dreamy atmospheric tune, which is all you need.  Another standout is “Common Burn”, which was released back in 2011. The song feels like a lullaby and features her harmonica skills.  “Lay Myself Down” has a country tinge to it and is the fastest of the 10 new songs.  It features the pedal steel guitar that gives it a lonely, but stunningly cool sound.
“Flying Low” closes the album, but on a high note.  It’s got a country and psychedelic rock feel that moves you more than most of their other songs.
This introverted and reclusive band has made music to stand the test of time.  Mazzy Star’s sound has been an apparent inspiration to others like Beach House, Spiritualized and Cat Power.  Their music is anything but transient, which can’t be said about a lot of today’s pop stars who live for the now and whose music becomes old quick. They will continue to transcend space and time within their music even if it’s another 17 years before we hear anything from them.