“Everything Comes in Cycles.” That seems to be the unspoken motto of the music world over the last couple of years. This is not only due to the psychedelic nostalgia of artists such as Ty Segall, but also the return of some of the most prominent acts from the 90’s. Over the past two years alone, we have seen Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh and Superchunk make a return. Even My Bloody Valentine dropped a gem on us like they never left at the beginning of this year. These are examples of seasoned indie veterans making a proper return; most of the time, however, this is not a situation welcomed by fans (Oasis making a comeback?). No need to fear though, for Mazzy Star can be added to the list of bands that have made a proper reestablishment into the world of music. Seasons of Your Day marks the duo’s first album in 17 years. While not as triumphant as mbv, it is still an enjoyable listen and picks up properly where the band left off on Among My Swan.
The first thing to notice is that Mazzy Star did not aim to evolve their sound in any groundbreaking manner. The guitar is still smokey and twangy and Hope Sandoval’s vocals are still seductive in their own special way. While some fans may be upset about this, it can be seen as a plus in the grand scheme of things; for how many musicians can get together after almost two decades and still sound tight? The opener “In the Kingdom” is a testament to Mazzy Star’s ability to craft wonderful melodies and incorporate a variety of instruments. “California”, which follows, has the most beautiful minor chord progression on the album. Sandoval’s vocals accompany the acoustic guitar throughout most of the song, with some bongos trickling into the mix right before the song closes.
While the production on this album is immaculate, the album can be slow burning. It seems as if Mazzy Star took the safe route too much at some parts and ended up suffering. Melodies, while beautiful, started to sound familiar and blended together into a psych-folk goop. In order to fully appreciate the album, you may have to listen twice to grasp all of the little subtleties hidden in the background. This is no problem to avid listeners of music or Mazzy Star fans, but it may give others the wrong impression of being long-winded. Regardless, Seasons of Your Day is a pleasant listen for fans and people who want an entry point into Mazzy Star before delving into classics such as She Hangs Brightly. It shows that a band can make a proper return, without the antics, gimmicks or drastic change. If you want a nice, homely campfire album for the fall, give this LP a listen, would ya?
Favorite Tracks: “California”, “In the Kingdom”, “Flying Low”
Least Favorite Tracks: “Lay Myself Down”, “Sparrow”