The Santa Monica, California dream-pop/psychedelic band made a bit of hay in the early-to-mid 1990s with three really sultry albums that were quite popular among college radio types like myself. Even though they had a member of My Bloody Valentine in the band, Mazzy Star was generally understood to be not much more than the duo of Hope Sandoval and David Roback.
Their only mainstream hit was the über-sexy “Fade Into You”, from their 1993 album So Tonight That I Might See. If you were trying to get into a girl’s pants in 1993, putting that song on a mix tape was one of your aces in the hole. I love that album, and I love that song. I’ll write something else about that song later tonight. And it’s not what you think.
Because I love making excuses to share this video with people, here is Mazzy Star playing “Fade Into You” on some special Jools Holland broadcast on BBC:
Mazzy Star’s third album —Among My Swan— in 1996 didn’t resonate as much with fans as the first two records did. While She Hangs Brightly sold half a million copies in the US and So Tonight That I Might See sold over a million, Among My Swan didn’t even move a quarter of a million copies. After touring in support of the album, the band went on hiatus. For all we knew, they just quit.
Between 1996 and now, Hope Sandoval stayed pretty busy. When she wasn’t hanging out with The Jesus and Mary Chain, she was busy with her own band Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions. They released two albums. Bavarian Fruit Bread in 2001 and Through the Devil Softly in 2009. Those records do not sound like Mazzy Star.
In late 2011, seemingly out of nowhere, Mazzy Star dropped two digital singles and made a promise that an album was forthcoming. They played a small handful of California dates in 2012 and a small handful of dates in Europe, but gave us no clues about the forthcoming album. The only thing was that the album was “done” and they were just waiting for the right MBV moment to launch it. Finally, that today, we learned that the record has an autumn release date which will be followed by a US tour.
Head on over to Pitchfork for a few more details, including the track listing.
Here, finally, is “California”, which will be on the new album.