Hear now: Mazzy Star unveils new song, 'California,' teases album

Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic

Los Angeles-born duo Mazzy Star has released new music, a teaser to a much-delayed album now set to be released in September. The song is called “California,” the group's first new work since 2011's two-song single, "Common Burn"/"Lay Myself Down."

The duo, Hope Sandoval and David Roback, have been teasing a return since then. The band played Coachella in support of new work in 2012, but ceased a publicity roll-out for a new album midstream. That record was presumably "Seasons of Your Day" or some version thereof. When it's released Sept. 24, it will be the band's first album in nearly 17 years.

In that time, Sandoval has released a number of warmly received solo albums and guested on work including the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Chemical Brothers. A few years ago, she did an exquisite performance at the Masonic Hall within Hollywood Forever cemetery.

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And Roback, a former force on the Los Angeles rock scene through his work as part of, among others, the Rain Parade, Opal and Rainy Day, relocated to Norway and kept pretty much to himself.

You can hear that solitude in “California,” a love letter to the group’s birthplace. “I think I’m going back to California,” sings Sandoval to open while Roback’s acoustic guitar offers typically echoed support. She drifts, she flies, she watches the sky turning gray. “I think I’ll go back,” she whispers as a subtle bass line creeps in, then a few choice organ chords, then gentle congas as the song expands. Finally, a breath of flute sneaks in and the song fades to black.

Listen below.    


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