In the 90s there were these voices, that you will never forget. These voices transferred the spirit of the time, spread out all anger, pain and desperation. For grunge it was Kurt Cobain or Billy Corgan. For alternative rock of the 90s it was Hope Sandoval as a part of MAZZY STAR who transferred all these feelings with her voice. This week MAZZY STAR will be released their fourth studio album Seasons of your day after 17 years. Yes, in words, seventeen years!
David Roback and Hope Sandoval are the core duo of MAZZY STAR with backing musicians. Both met each other in 1989, Roback the guitarist, composer and producer and also Sandoval the singer and writer of the lyrics. 1990 they released their first album She hangs brightly by Rough Trade. After a change to Capitol the duo released their second album So tonight that I might see in 1993. The song Fade into you became a hit in 1994 and the second record get platinum status. She hangs brightly and So tonight that I might see are characterized by dreamy and atmospheric soundscapes. The guitar sounds were rambled and fuzzy beside Hope Sandovals gentle and bittersweet voice. In 1996 they released their third and last album Among by Swan also by Capitol. In comparison to the others, Among by Swan presented a far more acoustic approach. The echoed, shoegazed-influenced guitars were shunned and acoustic guitars stood more in the foreground. A year after the release MAZZY STAR took a break and both artists started to work on alternative music projects. Roback work with Beth Orton at her album, Sandoval sang with THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN on their album Munki and went on to create her own band HOPE SANDOVAL & THE WARM INVENTIONS with MY BLOODY VALENTINE Drummer Colm Ó Cíosóig. But Sandoval and Roback don’t lose sight of each other. In 2000 they come back for a mini tour in Europe.
This begs the question of wether a band, after a hiatus of 17 years, will be go on on the same way or will start with a clean slate. In July of this year MAZZY STAR shared the track California from the new album with us. It shows us which way the duo will go with Seasons of your Day. Sandoval and Roback link to the previous album Among by Swan and focus on acoustic and folky sounds. These sounds are embedded in a dreamy and extensive atmosphere. The first song of the new record In the Kingdom nearly appears sacred with the electric organ and xylophone play. These soundscapes accompany Robacks rambled guitar plays. It isn’t something new, what MAZZY STAR present with Season of your Day. It is more like a mixture of the previous records with some country and blues influences. These influences often build up a sound backround for Hope Sandovals melancholy and wistful voice. The song Flying Low shows this distinctly. Roback go into rapture to country rock riffs with some guitar slides and Sandoval sing nearly lascivious her lyrics.
Both artist seems older and left the druggy and hypnotic sounds of the past. But with the acoustic and electric guitar sounds and the electric organ every now and then, they are as dreamy as ever. MAZZY STAR didn’t start new with Season of your day. It is much more a continuation and development of their work from the 90s. For MAZZY STAR fans the new record will be like a reunion with some good friends. For people who doesn’t know these two, Season for your day will be an easy start with the sensual and reflective songs of this band.