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Mazzy Star


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Ethereal alternative pop with a country/blues flavour

Status:

Most recent release, "I'm Less Here" (single, 2014); most recent full-lenth release, Seasons Of Your Day (2013)

See also:

Hope Sandoval's Mazzy Star site

Wikipedia's entry for Mazzy Star

Comparisons:

Lone Justice, Cowboy Junkies, Opal

Their music has much in common with a number of other artists, most of them also progressive country acts from Austin and environs, without ever cloning those others, instead coming up with something fundamentally original. Sometimes Mazzy Star remind one of a slower-tempo version of Maria McKee and Lone Justice, but with a darker, smokier edge. On the other hand, they don't go quite as far in that direction as Margo Timmins and Cowboy Junkies, whom they nonetheless most closely resemble overall. The instrumental component also reminds me somewhat of that of Timbuk 3, though Barbara McDonald carries proportionately less of the latter's vocal side than does Sandoval (or McKee or Timmins, for that matter). (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Covers/own material:

Own material, occasional covers

General comments:

Mazzy Star are Hope Sandoval (vocals) and David Roback (guitars, keyboards) plus various studio musicians. Roback was previously in Opal with Kendra Smith.

Recommended first album

Any. (afries@zip.com.au)

She Hangs Brightly still seems their strongest, most individual, and most haunting album to me. (Neile)

Recordings:


She Hangs Brightly

Release info:

1990—Rough Trade—Rough US77-2, re-released by Capitol

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hope Sandoval, David Roback

Guest artists:

Sylvia Gomez, Keith Mitchell, Suki, William Cooper, Paul Olguin

Produced by:

David Roback

Comments:

Hope Sandoval and her accompanists—sometimes acoustic, mostly electric, but never overpowering—have brought forth what could loosely be described as southwestern ethereal. Hope's voice is rich and perfect for these dreamy, bluesy songs. This collection was the focus of summer 1990 for us and we still play it a lot. Wonderful, moody, powerful. Great stuff and an album I consider a classic. (Neile)

I didn't like the first album all that much, though I love the later ones; I guess the country influences were too pronounced for me. (afries@zip.com.au)


So Tonight That I Might See

Release info:

1993—Capitol—CDP 0777 7 98253 2 5

Availability:

everywhere

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hope Sandoval, David Roback

Guest artists:

Keith Mitchell, William Cooper, Jason Yates

Produced by:

David Roback

Comments:

Hope Sandoval still has a wonderful voice, and I like the bluesy overall sound, but this album doesn't approach the power of She Hangs Brightly for me—it seem much looser and less-focused and intense. Still, it has grown on me to become my second favourite of their albums. (Neile)

So far it has the one element i love—depression. i think i am a mental masochist and this is perfect for that affliction. (bighat@camelot.bradley.edu)


Among My Swan

Release info:

1996—Capitol

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hope Sandoval—vocals, harmonica, percussion
David Roback—guitars, keyboards, other instruments

Guest artists:

William Cooper—string
Keith Mitchell—drums
Jill Emergy—bass
William Reid—additional guitar on 1 track
Aaron Sherer—drums on 2 tracks

Produced by:

David Roback

Comments:

So I was in a record store yesterday drawn in by the echoey, droning guitar music with ambient female voices that was playing out into the street. After a moment or two I realized this was Mazzy Star. I'd flirted with the idea of purchasing one of their albums, but always found the music too sleepy to buy. This stuff was different from what I was familiar with. It was harsher, a tad more energetic. Less country, more rock. Actually sounded like a more intelligible lovesliescrushing. Definitely up my alley. However, I discovered that the album was *not* what I expected. I had heard only the last two or three tracks which I thought had a nice, noisy, Cranes-like feel to them. Turns out those songs are anomalous. The rest of the album seems much like the earlier stuff, but a bit more energetic. I'd say it's about the same speed as Cowboy Junkies' The Caution Horses. So it's not what I expected, but I'm not disappointed. I like it well enough. (maeldun@i-2000.com)

I've heard it described as "Mazzy Star by numbers" and true enough it might not break any new ground, but it's still lovely mood music—another great CD to play at night! (afries@zip.com.au)

I really like the new mazzy star. it reminds me of their first, She Hangs Brightly. Sort of bluesy and mellow. (V115P8D6@ubvms.cc.buffalo.edu)

I really enjoyed this, but it still doesn't take the place of their first in my heart, or now, the second. I love Mazzy Star's style, but their first album had such a huge impact on me it's going to be hard for them to top it, and over time the second grew on me. This one is my least favourite of the three. (Neile)


Seasons of Your Day

Release info:

2013—Rhymes of an Hour Records—Rhymes 003

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Hope Sandoval, David Roback

Guest artists:

Suki Ewers, Keith Mitchell, Colm Ó Cíosóig, William Cooper Glenn, Bert Jansch, Paul Olguin, Paul Mitchell, Al Browne, Steven McCarthy

Produced by:

David Roback and Hope Sandoval

Comments:

If you want the band to break new ground you might be disappointed, but if you just want more Mazzy Star you'll love it, like me. (JoAnn Whetsell)

The new Mazzy Star has some really beautiful tracks. (lasherboy@gmail.com)

A definite highlight for me. (christina_skov@hotmail.com)


Thanks to Andrew Fries for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2015-05-24 18:22:41.
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