Hive Five: Hope Sandoval Beyond 'Fade Into You'

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The treats will outnumber the tricks on Halloween this year with Mazzy Star releasing their first new music in 15 years. Their new singles “Common Burn” and “Lay Myself Down” have been making the internet rounds this week, and they'll be out digitally on October 31, with a limited-edition colored-vinyl 7” to follow on November 8. Hope Sandoval and David Roback -- best known for “Fade Into You,” which has scored countless movie slow-dances and TV show first kisses -- also plan to tour and release a new LP in 2012. This is great news for fans of Mazzy Star’s hazy, dark dream-pop, which seems newly fashionable in the wake of the successes of Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast and more than half of Slumberland’s roster. Those fans have suffered through broken promises and false album starts for over 11 years. But Sandoval, whose warm-yet-haunting voice gave the band’s nocturnal psychedelia its intimate core, has been busy, releasing albums under her own name and lending her dreamy coo to artists with a similar musical aesthetic. Here are Hope's five best non-Mazzy moments that suggest she's more than just made for montage music.

1. The Jesus & Mary Chain, “Sometimes Always”

Only one year after Mazzy Star’s breakout album, So Tonight That I Might See, Sandoval brought her husky coo to a duet with the original giants of post-punk psychedelia. This track, off the Jesus & Mary Chain’s 1994 album Stoned & Dethroned (their second to last effort), finds Jim Reid and Sandoval trading off verses, exchanging blame for a breakup like a Reality Bites-era version of “Don’t You Want Me.” (Though, in real life Sandoval’s boyfriend at the time was Jim’s brother, William.) Sandoval, high off the success of “Fade Into You,” and the JAMC, decade-long stalwarts of feedback-drenched noise-pop, were a marriage made in Gen X heaven, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of alternative music. [Listen here.]

2. The Chemical Brothers, “Asleep From Day”

Known for their more aggressively synthesized dance tracks, big beat purveyors the Chemical Brothers made a song for the chill-out room when they collaborated with Sandoval for this song off 1999’s Surrender. She co-wrote “Asleep From Day,” which is built over spare, twinkling keyboard drones and gentle tambourine percussion, and it is her drowsy, whispery voice that drives the somnambulant tune. This track proves that Sandoval’s singing is like audible Valium -- in a good way -- because only a voice as calmly beautiful as hers could soothe people as spazzy and kinetic as the bombastic samplers of the Chemical Brothers. [Listen here.]

3. Bert Jansch, “All This Remains”

It’s clear that Sandoval is a super-fan of the legendary Scottish folkie. Not only can you hear the acoustic guitar virtuoso’s melancholic, late-night style in Mazzy Star’s own songs, but the duo made its last public appearance together at a 2003 performance at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in honor of Jansch’s 60th birthday. “All This Remains,” off the late guitarist’s second to last album (2002’s Edge of a Dream), proves that it is a mutual admiration society, as Sandoval’s hushed, lovely vocals are a natural fit for the spare arrangement of Jansch’s bluesy, bruised and muscular guitar. [Listen here.]

4. Vetiver, “Angel’s Share”

Sandoval, for all her mystery and press shyness, seems to have cornered the market on female guest vocalist for intimate, sparse, acoustic tracks. This track, off Vetiver’s 2004 self-titled debut, was tailor-made for her ghostly guest staring role. Rather than making her an equal partner (as on the JAMC duet) or giving over the vocals to her entirely (as with the Jansch or Chemical Brothers’ songs), Sandoval is used only sparingly on “Angel’s Share” -- she’s been recorded quietly and drenched in echo effects to sound like she’s calling from far away -- to highlight the song’s especially poignant passages. [Listen here.]

5. Massive Attack, “Paradise Circus”

Trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack have practically made a career out of collaborating with the smoothest-voiced, most ethereal female singers in underground pop -- from the Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser to Everything But The Girl’s Tracy Thorn -- so when they came calling on Sandoval for this track off of 2009’s Heligoland, she must’ve thought that it was about damn time. Much like “Fade Into You,” this sexy, slow-burning track has caught fire scoring narrative content; it was featured on the soundtrack to the film The Fall, was used in episodes of Gossip Girl and True Blood, and is even the theme song to the Idris Elba-starring BBC show Luther. [Listen here.]