The end of September saw the first release (and fourth studio album) in 17 years – Seasons of Your Day – from the MTV and VH1 dream pop darling Mazzy Star, author of the eponymous „Fade Into You“.
The California group formed after the break-up of Opal, when guitarist David Roback started working with singer Hope Sandoval. Eventhough there are also other members in the band, the line-up has changed over the years, and the backbone relies mainly on the synergy between Roback and Sandoval.
Although noticeably a one-man production, the sound is tied together as a whole by Sandoval’s unique vocals, that can be categorized – figuratively, naturally – somewhere between Vanessa Paradis and PJ Harvey. However, unlike Paradis, she lacks the Lolita-esque seductress, but also lacks the Harvey-like powerful femme fatale. Sandoval is reportedly rather shy and does not court the limelight – she prefers dim and intimate environments, and it also creates a certain atmosphere on this particular album as well. This fetishising of getting lost in a dream-like fog is represented in contemporary genres as well – for example the Estonian Maria Minerva and Inga Copeland, to name a few.
The tracks on Seasons of Your Day are soft and even and might merge into one if you don’t keep up, but my favourite is the last one on the album – the edgy „Flying Low“ with bluesy guitar riffs that make your head spin in a good way. The harmonica evokes Tarantino-ish cowboy vibes thanks to which the song could very well belong on the soundtrack to Death Proof – suitable for speeding on an endless dirt road (even if that only happens in our escapist dreams).
Eventhough the band has largely flown under the radar since 1996, they have been consistently active, according to Roback. This thoroughness and wholeness is evident on this album, too, setting it completely apart from the mainstream music industry – it relies on a lifetime of achievement and a unique soul that will hopefully in time attribute to a whole new meaning.