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Friday, March 11, 2016

Mazzy Star

Everyone comfortable? Ready to mellow down in the ultimate sense of the term? Then thank God for Mazzy Star, a longtime personal favorite of mine, for reasons we'll discuss here shortly. Early 1990's, Mazzy Star were basically guitarist David Roback and vocalist Hope Sandoval, once again this year's winner of the sleepiest-sounding/most bored sounding female singer alive (the male winner is generally Jim Reed from the Jesus and Mary Chain, the two once did a duet "Sometimes/Always" on one of the Chain's albums, sort of one of those things that you really have to hear to comprehend).

So the first Mazzy Star album, 1990's "She hangs Brightly", was a fine piece of shoe-gaze, paisley underground light psychedelia, "Blue Flower", the title track, "Before I Sleep", and most everything here are sleepy, dreamy stuff that is perfect for falling asleep to, getting a massage (not kidding), playing back-to-back with The Velvet Undergrounds "White Light White Heat" (AM kidding), this is an acquired taste by definition, but I DO love me some Mazzy Star!

OK, so, likely I never would have heard of them if not for the follow up "So Tonight That I Might See" and it's stunning single "Fade Into You".......when my wife was pregnant with our son, she listened to this album nonstop to keep her calm (it was a problem pregnancy, bed rest, etc), and eventually the baby grew to love/respond to it.......I'd always like to think that Hope Sandoval and Co. had a hand in our finally having a healthy baby boy, one who turns 19 in June and heads for the U of Akron.

Anyway, that's just a personal take, this is thier best album (imo).....they show musical brains with a lovely cover of Arthur Lee's "Five String Serenade", "She's My baby" is a winner, and that incredible "Fade Into You".......never get tired of hearing THAT one, even given my personal attachment. Solid album, as I say, if you only want ONE........

And finally we have athe follow up "Among My Swan".......similar, really, to the other two albums (did you expect they were going to turn into the Plasmatics?), more slowed down trippers like "Flowers and December", "Look on Down From the Bridge", and "Rhymes of an Hour" are typical of the Mazzy Star sound and feel, I say if you've enjoyed the first two, this is for you as I said, though, acquired taste.

Mellow out this evening with some Mazzy Star, perhaps after some punk from Chelsea or the Rubber City Rebels........this is really good, almost anti-rock, but cool and relaxing beyond description. Love this stuff, some of ya may hate it, and either way, there will be something else later tonight or tomorrow anyway!

I read they've done some other stuff since but I havaen't heard it and really don't care that much, I'm sure I can envision what it sounds like!

SHE HANGS BRIGHTLY-01 Halah/02 Blue Flower/03 Ride It On/04 She hangs Brightly/05 I'm Sailin'/06
Give You my lovin'/07 Be My Angel/08 Taste of Blood/09 Ghost Highway/10 Free/11 Before I Sleep

SO TONIGHT THAT I MIGHT SEE-01 Fade Into You/02 Bells Ring/03 Mary Of Silence/04 Five String Serenade/05 Blue Light/06 She's My Baby/07 Unreflected/08 Wasted/09 Into Dust/10 So Tonight That I Might See

AMONG MY SWAN-01 Disappear/02 Flowers in December/03 Rhymes of an Hour/04 Cry, Cry/05 Take Everything/06 Still Cold/07 All Your Sisters/08 I've Been Let Down/09 Roseblood/10 Happy/11 Umbilical/12 Look Down From the Bridge

Hope ya like these, a sort of closet-favorite of mine.......


  1. HANGS



  2. Nice, nice, thanks for sharing. I have some Mazzy bootlegs if you're interested, too

  3. Replies
    1. Here's one I like a lot: a 1993 Black Session from French radio! Hope you enjoy (and maybe re-up the Sleater-Kinney BBC sessions someday ;) )

  4. If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and check out Opal. It was Roback's band before Mazzy featuring Kendra Smith on vocals. They had a similar dreamy pop sound layered with Roback's signature guitar. The song Supernova is a favorite of mine. They put out one LP on SST entitled Happy Nightmare Baby. They also have a compilation called Early Recordings which I believe was issued by Rough Trade.

  5. How can a vocalist so sleepy and dispassionate be so hypnotic and involving? It's like the more bored she sounds the more you're drawn to her.

    Roback weaves and dances that guitar around her like a master too. It's definitely a sum greater than it's parts kinda magic.

    I also love how they resurface 17 years later and pick up right where they left off with the stellar "Common Burn"...doing what they do...floating off into the darkness....