What is a mazzy star rock band

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What keeps pulling us back to this nineties indie hit? "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star are five minutes of fluffy gentleness in the dark, possibly just a feverish dream.

It is a dark and mysterious world that Mazzy Star talk about in their songs. Shadows lurk everywhere, and if you let yourself be swallowed up by them, your eyes go blind and your senses dull. There is so much empty space to lose yourself in and so much useless time to dream away. Love flows away, and what was alive slowly crumbles to dust. Often all that remains is a great, indefinite longing for which Mazzy Star often no longer needs any words, just a few guitar chords.

"Fade Into You" from 1994 is one of those songs by the Californian duo. It is about a love that is so strong that the lyrical self is absorbed in it and would like to dissolve in it completely. But he is denied that. Instead, the feelings remain unrequited, even unnoticed: "Fade into you / I think it's strange you never knew", it says in the text.

Fittingly, singer Hope Sandoval performs the text in such an ethereal voice that her singing for its part only just barely goes into the soundscape of the band. There is so much artificial reverberation over the whole recording of “Fade Into You” that the song only comes across as a gentle breath despite its melancholy. Everything about him is puffy gentleness, slowly and seductively brought in, a single feverish dream that lasted almost five minutes.

With “Fade Into You” Mazzy Star achieved their most influential single, which marked the high point in the group's seven-year existence. Guitarist David Roback and singer Hope Sandoval met at the end of the 1980s in Los Angeles. Roback first played with Opal, a band that was mainly inspired by the psychedelic rock bands of the sixties. Sandoval later joined the group. She was more influenced by folk, but had also been on stage with the noise artists from Sonic Youth. But after a while she didn't care anymore. She wanted to start something new, of her own, which she could help shape from the beginning. She teamed up with Roback.

Soon after, an album was recorded. The other band members of Opal were quickly hired as studio musicians, so that Mazzy Star's debut could hit stores in the summer of 1990. Eleven songs were on the record, each darker than the other. On the opening piece, the dreamy ballad "Halah", Sandoval sings: "Baby, I wish I were dead." which is attached to a tree.

These sometimes bizarre longings for death in no way deterred the general public. The long player was received with great enthusiasm by everyone. It was "probably the most stunning debut of the year", the renowned British "Melody Maker" later said about the album. The critic of "Rolling Stone" found it "cool and beautiful at the same time". And that Kurt Cobain, who soon became an antihero in rock history, counted “She Hangs Brightly” among his most important influences, also speaks volumes.

The music industry soon fell in love with Mazzy Star. Because their previous label Rough Trade was as good as bankrupt, they switched to the American record company Capitol. Everything indicated that Mazzy Star were at the beginning of a world career. But that's exactly what they didn't want.

Right from the start, David Roback made it clear that he was not interested in success and sales figures. That doesn't matter to him, he said to an American daily before the big record deal with Capitol. He explained that he would rather stay free, and perhaps part of this freedom was that the duo hardly responded to press inquiries and rarely went on tour.

Despite the low ambitions in terms of her career, Mazzy Star worked for three years on their second album, which became even better and even more successful than the first. “Fade Into You” opened the 51-minute work, which was overall less dark and therefore a little more accessible than its predecessor. The video for the single even made it into the MTV rotation, although most of the scenes were filmed in the dark and you can hardly see anything at all.

Mazzy Star remained active for three more years, one album was released, and then they couldn't. Sandoval and Roback withdrew from the public eye, they did not like success. “We used to be able to do what we wanted. Then there was a record company that wanted to sell seven million records and told us how to do it. So we got out. ”As minimalistic as Mazzy Stars' music was, its end was explained so easily.

Hope Sandoval then returned to her folk roots. With Colm Ó Cíosóig from My Bloody Valentine she appeared as Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions and continued to play melancholy songs, but almost only with reserved acoustic accompaniment. Roback worked as a producer and installation artist in Norway. When the two decided to re-publish Mazzy Star material in 2013, the reactions across the board were again positive. They could have picked up where they left off so abruptly. But the two immediately withdrew.

Their further collaboration was limited to an EP, which was released in 2018. In February, David Roback died of cancer in February. And with that, the Mazzy Star project has finally dissolved.

 

***

I want to hold the hand inside you
I want to take a breath that's true
I look to you and I see nothing
I look to you to see the truth
You live your life, you go in shadows
You'll come apart and you'll go blind
Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what's not there

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew

A stranger’s light comes on slowly
A stranger’s heart without a home
You put your hands into your head
And then its smiles cover your heart

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew
Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew
I think it's strange you never knew

Tags: Dave Roback, Fade Into You, Hope Sandoval, Kurt Cobain, Mazzy Star
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Mazzy Star: "Fade Into You"

By Oliver Camenzind

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