Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day
At a time when the angry kids of the early-90s Seattle grunge scene have become deified and hipster experimentalism has all but murdered the noughties’ psychedelic folk scene, the return of Mazzy Star feels timely and fresh. Listening to the album, one doesn’t so much question why they got back together as much as why they split in the first place. The core duo of guitarist David Roback and vocalist Hope Sandoval reunited back in 2010, releasing a double A-side the following year – their first material since 1996’s Among My Swan – while Seasons of Your Day completes their quiet comeback.
Appropriately for a group who never shifted far from their blend of shimmering, shoegazing aesthetics and gentle, folky psychedelic Americana, nothing has really changed. With the original 1990 line-up in the studio, and contributions from both the deceased Bert Jansch and My Bloody Valentine’s Colm Ó Cíosóig, the music remains an often ultra-slow and dreamy ebb of lilting tunes. Aside from the mere structural necessities of chord changes, melodies and lyrics, the actual songs are little more than atmospheres, with Roback’s instrumental flourishes – or as in the case of Common Burn, Sandoval’s harmonica and glockenspiel interjections – mere musical furniture.
Overall, the only sign of development is the band’s regression into an even more contemplative and flaccid dream state. Hope Sandoval’s work with her own Warm Inventions after Mazzy Star’s initial break-up saw this insistent flaccidity taken to something of an extreme – it was almost unlistenably dull. Seasons of Your Day however, finds perfect middle ground between Roback’s amped-up workouts on Among My Swan and the comatose Warm Inventions years, delivering a set of perfectly paced and recorded tunes, destined to soundtrack a whole new generation of wistful evenings in dorm rooms on both sides of the Atlantic.
Seasons of Your Day is released on 24th September, but you can pre-order the album here.
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