Mazzy Star made their first TV appearance since the ’90s on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last night. The lighting is murky as it always is when Mazzy Star perform. Adds mystery, you know. This is a beautiful rendition of “California” off their new and fourth studio album, Seasons Of Your Day.
This is cool. Today, over at The Talkhouse,Dean Wareham, once of Galaxie 500 and now with a mini-LP, Emancipated, reviews the new Mazzy Star album, Seasons Of Your Day.
There are two unmistakeable voices in Mazzy Star. (Well, there is also the restrained drumming of Keith Mitchell, which I have always admired, restraint being an overlooked musical virtue.) One, of course, belongs to Hope Sandoval, a beautiful singing voice that is not all sweetness; sometimes it is cloaked in an intimidating attitude, a kind of quiet sneer. People sometimes assume, when there is a woman fronting a band, that she is just the voice, that someone else is calling all the shots. But during Mazzy Star’s long hiatus she made two strange and mesmerizing albums of her own (as Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions); clearly she knows what she is doing, and the softly meandering “Common Burn,” with its harmonica and glockenspiel, sounds like one of hers.
The other voice is Roback’s guitar, which you recognize from his phrasing and from a few sounds that are his alone. And so at the 15-second point of the first track on the new LP, “In the Kingdom” before a word is uttered, you recognize the band in his inimitable, reverbed slide guitar. Yes, there are a thousand “better” slide players walking around Los Angeles right now but Roback has his own slightly lazy and delicate way; he is a stylist. “I’ve Gotta Stop” delivers the same sensation: an electric guitar phrase pushed through a slight wah, a sound he has been recording for many, many years.
You really want to read the whole thing, not just that excerpt. Head over to The Talkhouse.
The ongoing Mazzy Star comeback continues with this atmospheric video (posted below) for one of Seasons Of Your Day’s standout tracks, “California.” Although it’s been 17 years since the last Mazzy Star album, in recent interviews David Roback said that him and Hope Sandoval never stopped making music, they just stopped releasing it.
“We were always recording and writing,” Roback tock The Guardian. “We just didn’t release any of it publicly.”
Which almost makes Mazzy Star the J.D. Salinger of indie rock.
“I don’t think it’s unusual at all,” Sandoval said in the same interview. “I don’t think we were really in the mood to release music.”
Seasons Of Your Day is the group’s fourth album.
“Maybe, for musicians, it’s common to release things more frequently than we do,” Roback said. “[We’re] like other types of artist. They make their sculpture or painting, they write books or poems, and whether they have an exhibition is almost irrelevant.”
Read the whole interview, which went live today at The Guardian website, here.
The wait is over. After 17 years Mazzy Star are about to release a new album, Seasons Of Your Day. Hope Sandoval and David Roback remain the core members of the group. One song on the album, “Spoon,” features a guitar duet with Roback and the late English guitar legend Bert Jansch (he dired in 2011).
Also playing on the album: Suki Ewers, keyboards; Keith Mitchell, drums and multi-instrumentalist Colm Ó Cíosóig.
Track listing: “In the Kingdom,” “California,” I’ve Gotta Stop,” “Does Someone Have Your Baby Now,” “Common Burn,” “Seasons of Your Day,” “Lay Yourself Down,” “Sparrow,” -“Spoon” and “Flying Low.”
The album will be released September 23, 2013 on the group’s own Rhymes of An Hour label.