may have been its strongest reincarnation. That doesn't necessarily mean that fans of
will find the band to their liking, however.
much preferred the dark side of psychedelia, as exemplified by the most distended tracks of
. Their fuzzy guitar workouts and plaintive folky compositions are often suffused in a dissociative ennui that is very much of the '90s, however much their textures may recall the drug-induced states of vintage psychedelia.
Although Mazzy Star
was nominally a full band, they were basically the core duo of guitarist David Roback
and singer Hope Sandoval
with backing musicians. Roback
boasts a long history in the paisley underground, with the Rain Parade
. He came across Sandoval
after hearing a tape she had made as part of a folky duo, Going Home. (The Going Home album that Roback
subsequently produced remains unissued.) Sandoval
ended up replacing Kendra Smith
's final tours. After Opal
continued to work together as Mazzy Star
, and released their first album for Rough Trade, She Hangs Brightly
, in 1990.
Rough Trade's U.S. branch went under shortly afterwards, but luckily Mazzy Star
were picked up by Capitol, who kept the debut in print and issued their follow-up, 1993's So Tonight That I Might See
. There isn't much to differentiate the two albums, though that's not necessarily a criticism. Both share similar strengths and weaknesses: appealingly dreamy and atmospheric arrangements, rambling distorted guitar workouts, and lyrics that mix the haunting and the meaninglessly vague. Tonight That I Might See
had been around for about a year before it suddenly got hot, reaching the Top 40, and spinning off a small hit single, "Fade Into You." Even in the wake of this surprise success, Roback
remained as enigmatic and aloof as their music, rarely submitting to interviews, and offering mysterious, unhelpful replies when journalists did manage to talk with them.
In 1996 they released their third album, Among My Swan, which presented a far more acoustic approach from Sandoval
. They shunned the echoed, shoegaze-influenced guitars that featured heavily on much of their first two records and opted for a pared-down acoustic affair. The record also proved to be their last with major-label Capitol, and they parted ways. A year later the band went on hiatus and started work on alternative projects. Roback
worked with Beth Orton on her album Central Reservation; while Sandoval
appeared on the Jesus and Mary Chain's 1998 record Munki and went on to create Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions with My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O'Ciosoig. They returned briefly in 2000 for a mini-tour of Europe and in 2003 the duo performed together as part of Bert Jansch's 60th birthday celebrations in London.
A flurry of activity in the late 2000s saw their song "Into Dust" used on an advert for Virgin Media and then on a trailer for popular video game Gears of War 3
, which propelled the song into the U.K. singles chart. This was shortly followed by the confirmation that Sandoval
had been working on new material for a fourth album, and they released their first new material in 15 years when double-A-side single "Common Burn/Lay Myself Down" arrived in 2011. This was swiftly followed by a North American and European tour in 2012. The following year, details were announced for their fourth full-length record, titled Seasons of Your Day, which was expected in 2013.