The unfathomable Nineties revival just gathered even more momentum. Don't worry, Menswear haven't re-formed. Yet. No, the return of Mazzy Star with a double A single, a full fifteen years since the release of their last album 'Among My Swan', is the rarest of beasts: a welcome re-union. The like of which would only be bettered if the United and Jacob Fruitified groups put aside their differences and began making their splendid biscuits again.
Until Orange Clubs are back on the shelves, let us console ourselves with the fact that Hope Sandoval sounds as good on 'Common Burn' as she ever did. It is dangerous to describe any female singer's voice as haunting for fear of evoking thoughts of Florence Welch or Enya, but when haunting is what it is, then there is no value in avoiding the obvious. Pitched simply against harmonica and some percussive noodling, Sandoval's vocal is dark and languid, gaining intensity in the natural rhythm of speech ('Simple things like your overcoat round your beauty that still burn in me').
It's a curious choice for a comeback single, in truth – not so much a song as a jam done at their own unhurried pace, with David Roback's unobtrusive slide guitar shimmering occasionally in the background. There are few bands who would attempt this level of minimalism and fewer still that would be able to pull it off.
'Lay Myself Down', with its looping acoustic riff, repeated lyric and kiss of tambourine, is a more natural single but is no less affecting. It has an easy alt-country Americana feel that is somewhere between Wilco and the Jesus & Mary Chain's 'Stoned and Dethroned' album, on which Sandoval herself appeared (with then-squeeze William Reid on 'Sometimes Always'). Simple and elegant, it is a timely reminder that the Nineties produced bands capable of the enigmatic, as well as the bombastic.
It is unlikely that there will be a more low-key comeback this year or next, but there will be plenty that are less fruitful.