100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s #1 Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

Released : 1994

It was always hard to listen without imagining yourself in some kind of Faustian pact. Mazzy Star grew from David Roback’s earlier project Opal (Roback himself had once been in Paisley Underground standard bearers Rain Parade), whilst elfin singer Hope Sandoval had apparently been smuggled in from some other astral plane.

Famously the duo were uncooperative when asked about their arcane music, which was a compendium of American accents through country, blues, psychedelia, sixties folk, seventies pop and came over like the soundtrack to a lost William Faulkner novel.

Their 1990 debut album She Hangs Brightly arrived in that weird intermezzo you get at the start of a decade when nobody really knows what’s going to happen in the ten years to follow. There was little by way of clues for that in it’s frostily austere delivery, but the peculiar ambience was also intoxicating, as if being left to guess the pair’s motivations through the fog was their ultimate gift.

Fade Into You led off it’s successor So Tonight That I Might See, released three years later. To a slide guitar and rolling piano lilt, the back country waltz found Sandoval throwing ethereal bones, her devotional intended for one in the shadows: ‘Some kind of night into your darkness/Colors your eyes with what’s not there’. Here then was the deal with old Nick made plain; it wasn’t them, but you, who’d traded away an eternity in the afterlife just to hear one song.

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