When you wait a hell of a long time for a band you like to put a new record out, you desperately don’t want it to be crap. I’ve had this disappointment thrusted upon me a few times; more recently it was MBV. I don’t even know if I made it through the whole record, I sort of just..gave up really. Typical, I know. I got so far and thought better of it. As I listen to Seasons Of Your Day by Mazzy Star, I’m slowly realising that this disappointment doesn’t have to be a frequent thing.
Yes everyone loves Fade Into You. Yes it is one of the best love songs of all time and yes I cannot listen to it without wanting to cry. Let’s move on from that, because their debut record, She Hangs Brightly will always be my favourite thing they’ve ever done. I also love the songs The Jesus And Mary Chain featured Hope on. I think it made their record, Munki alright. When you can accept weak albums from your favourite band, you know you’ll love them for life. Thing is, I don’t just love The Jesus And Mary Chain. Religious people have their scriptures and the like; I just have music.
Seasons Of Your Day pretty much sounds like Warpaint meets Beach House meets Cat Power’s Myra Lee record. The opening track, In The Kingdom sounds as if it was an outtake from Beach House’s last record, Bloom. Seasons Of Your Day just oozes love and devotion. It is, to put it simply; a pure and delicate piece of art that makes you feel as if no time has passed at all since their last record, which was actually 17 years ago. I feel really old now…
It is obvious that Hope Sandoval is a painfully shy character, most of us are. Sometimes it gets a bit frustrating because you want songs that have a bit more bite to them, but this is what makes Mazzy Star so distinctive. They still have that ethereal atmosphere to their music with beautiful psychedelic sounds. You close your eyes and you feel as if you are on some trip. I’ve never done drugs, but I can go dizzy if I stand up too fast. Old age..it is sure creeping up. The bastard.
I was quite young when I first heard of Mazzy Star, and as I got older I read their lyrics intensely and I sort of learnt the true meaning of devotion from their songs. When they delve into the hypnotic and captivating throes of love, you cannot help but place yourself in that situation that Hope is singing about. Somehow I don’t think Mazzy Star are capable of doing something as aggressive as say, Violet by Hole. I love Courtney Love, and no one can do honesty like she does; she exposes ugly feelings and makes you feel alright with feeling them. Sometimes, it is a bore to feel completely clean.
I’d imagine a lot of people would bake to this record whilst wearing an awful jumper. Don’t wear a jumper when baking; you’ll get too hot. Don’t wear an apron either. You’ve not successfully baked or cook unless you’ve made a mess and got half the ingredients in your hair.
I’m aware this is probably the worst record review EVER, but who cares? My point in this is that, unlike some bands- Mazzy Star have been away for 17 years and they come back sounding as gorgeous and as gentle as they did back then. It is a style that I don’t think will ever leave them. I hope it never leaves them because they have created something to just shut your eyes to, and dream away life and everything in it.
One of the things I really really adore about Seasons Of Your Day is that there is an obvious Blues influence here. The bottleneck effect on the guitars is just stunning on this record. Anyone who dismisses that genre is denying themselves of some of the most heartbreaking and honest songs ever. Taylor Swift isn’t echoing your thoughts about heartache; Bessie Smith is (well not anymore obviously..but back catalogue, you’ll see!) The Blues was a genre that my mum was obsessed with; she’d play Muddy Waters to me, and it was such a comforting sound. She had a tape of him that I pretty much took ownership of. Without the Blues you really wouldn’t have a large chunk of the music you have now.
Seasons Of Your Day does not disappointment. It is perfect for long-term fans of the band, and for those that have never heard of them. Or have only heard THAT song. Yes THAT song is beautiful, but there are beautiful songs on Seasons Of Your Day. The sincerity in Hope’s voice is nothing short of divine, she lives up to her name (sorry…)
17 years was obviously a long time to wait, but things do take time. Usually things of greatness. Seasons Of Your Day was recorded between 1997 and 2012, and as you listen to it, you can sort of tell that these songs were done this way as there are certain changes in the sound. There are leaps into a solid sound on Seasons Of Your Day, and this solid sound they have created here makes you hope that they don’t wait another 17 years to release a record. Mazzy Star are a band that are secure in their own sound. They don’t need to change their sound drastically in order for you to listen. You love them because they have a relaxed and (I hate to use this word) dreamy feel to their music.
Seasons Of Your Day is 50 minutes of bliss, something we should expose ourselves to more often rather than want to rush everything. Take your time, because there are beautiful moments in this record that you will miss if you preoccupy yourself with other matters.