Song of the Day: Mazzy Star “Halah”
Powered by the beguiling and gently lilting vocals of Hope Sandoval, two-piece Mazzy Star were one of the very best acts of the early 90s. The band played a mixture of tuneful shoegaze and almost country-western: a sound that continues to sound fresh to this day. Certainly it helped that guitarist Dave Roback‘s creative and tasteful playing proved to be a perfect foil for Sandoval‘s sultry voice. “Halah” is the lead-off track on Mazzy Star‘s 1990 debut LP, She Hangs Brightly and is an almost perfect encapsulation of what the band was about and their unique sound. Though down-tempo, the song has a certain bouncy, inviting charm about, it but ends up concealing some rather dark lyrics beneath its tuneful exterior.
Despite the single “Fade Into You” from Mazzy Star‘s sophomore LP, 1993’s So Tonight That I Might See, blowing up on nascent alternative radio, the pair have continued to keep a low-profile and largely avoid fame. Sandoval in particular is known for her low-key spotlight averse persona, frequently hiding in shadows during live gigs and while fronting her solo band, Hope Sandoval and the Warm Intentions. She also had a lengthy relationship with white noise merchant’s Jesus and Mary Chain‘s William Reid. While going silent and many presuming that Mazzy Star had broken up after their third LP, the dark and brooding Among My Swan, the band suddenly elusively reappeared after an almost 20 year hiatus to record their fourth LP, 2013’s Seasons Of Your Day. The band are also releasing a new EP later this year.