Arriving 17 years after their last album Among My Swan and 20 years after “Fade into You” brought them modest success in the mainstream heyday of alternative rock, Mazzy Star have returned after an extended hiatus to deliver Seasons of Your Day.

Guitarist/songwriter David Roback and vocalist Hope Sandoval haven’t missed a beat in the long interim between their last recorded collaboration. Their bluesy and slightly countrified brand of lo-fi alternative folk remains intact and is just as evocative and quietly moving as their earlier material. Sandoval has immaculately maintained her fragile, quavering coo while Roback’s musicianship has only become stronger with age. “I’ve Gotta Stop” boasts truly majestic electric lead work while “Sparrow” serves as a showcase for Roback’s staggering proficiency on the acoustic guitar. Sandoval especially shines in a musically stripped-down setting as seen in “California,” easily the most emotional and poignant track on the album. Roback draws the listener in with haunting minor chord guitar work while Sandoval delivers a homesick and melancholic vocal performance. This is probably one of the least upbeat songs ever written about the Golden State. When Sandoval sings, “I think I’m going back to California/Somewhere distant and it’s all far away,” you can hear the sincerity and yearning in her voice.

Seasons of Your Day marks a triumphant return for Mazzy Star. Even if this recent collaboration is just a one-off, this is easily one of the best reunion albums in recent memory.

By James Olson

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