Following what must be a record-breaking 17-year chamomile nap, Mazzy Star have announced a new album and released a preview track called “California”. Seasons of Your Day will be released on September 24th through the group’s own Rhymes of an Hour imprint.
The intro to “California” throws me off a little at first — the acoustic strummed chords sliding up and down the neck are a bit amateurish, reminding me of a teenager writing his first song in his bedroom — but as soon as Hope Sandoval begins to sing all is forgiven and suddenly I’m the teenager in my bedroom listening to She Hangs Brightly (their 1990 debut album) while dreaming of someday escaping suburban purgatory. One of my favorite shows of all time was Mazzy Star at Slim’s in SF. I’m pretty sure she was singing directly into my soul, though I’m not sure if she ever actually opened her eyes.
Extra nerd info:
Before Mazzy Star, there was Opal. Part of the L.A. “Paisley Underground” of psychedelic folk rock bands like The Dream Syndicate and The Bangles, David Roback (founder of Mazzy Star) played in Opal along with vocalist Kendra Smith (to whom Beach House’s Victoria LeGrand sounds suspiciously similar). After Smith’s departure from the band and subsequent fade into Syd Barrett-esque obscurity, Opal needed a new singer and found one in East L.A. native Sandoval who happened to be a big fan of Smith and Opal. After a tour as Opal in 1988 with Sandoval singing, the group renamed itself Mazzy Star.
(why is Hope Sandoval in the intro of this Opal video?)