Mazzy Star, “Common Burn” (2011): Something Else! sneak peek

If you missed Mazzy Star’s memorable brand of gloomy romanticism, never fear. The band’s first music in 15 years is just as psychedelically tense yet weirdly blissful as anything on their breakout 1993 recording So Tonight That I Might See.

“Common Burn,” part of an advance double-sided single for an as-yet-unnamed project with no confirmed release date, is petaled with the same influences of country, folk, psych- and classic-rock, and again turned all the way down to a slow-rolling simmer. As these familiar echo-filled expanses unspool between every riff by David Roback, and every breathy vocal line from Hope Sandoval, it’s as if they never left.

Of course, that sense of resigned mystery always risks making a nuisance of its very simplicity, like someone walking at a half-gait while every one else is in a rush. But, if you’ve got the time — or are inclined to slow up anyway — Mazzy Star’s music always had this sense of sweet reverie, like that moment when every hurt was finally let go of.

Still does.

Mazzy Star is releasing “Common Burn,” along with the B-side “Lay Myself Down,” on the band’s own Rhymes of an Hour label in advance of an upcoming LP and tour dates, its first since 1996’s Among My Swan.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso