Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions – Through the Devil Softly

January 01, 1970





It’s been eight years since the ex-Mazzy
Star vocalist and her Warm Inventions released their debut album, but this second
disc takes up right where its predecessor left off. The utterly spare
instrumentation-lightly plucked guitars, gently brushed drums, the occasional
mournful fiddle-provides just enough formless shadow to make Sandoval’s
resonant whisper of a voice stand out, but only in the same way that a small,
flickering candle lights up a vast and desolate forest.


Sandoval has always floated in the
acoustic ether, but here she seems focused on finding a sweet spot where music
can be reduced to the most basic quietude without disappearing altogether; on
songs like “Thinking Like That” and “For the Rest of Your
Life” (a swirling drone that’s the most Mazzy-sounding cut here), she
comes awfully close. But it’s on the album’s closer, the Victrola-staticky
“Satellite,” in which Sandoval’s voice almost vanishes in a pool of
analog crackles, that she manages to make it happen.


Like That,” “Satellite” JASON FERGUSON


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