The soft-spoken, warm-voiced Hope Sandoval might best be known for her early ’90s turn at the mike with “Fade Into You,” but this elusive songstress is anything but a one-hit wonder. The former Mazzy Star frontwoman has retained her fair share of the spotlight since the band’s formal split in 1996, working with big-name acts like Air, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Chemical Brothers, Vetiver, and Massive Attack, just to name a few. She’s also continued to pen and perform her original material alongside a band of her own, which includes former My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm C-os³ig. The union, dubbed Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions, has been around in some form since 2001, though this month’s release, Through the Devil Softly, is only the band’s second in their eight-plus year history.
A beautifully orchestrated, meticulously produced slice of shoegazey folk, Devil showcases Sandoval at her best. The lyrics are mournful, the delivery is emotive, and even the lovelorn subject matter is undeniably fresh. Breathy cuts like “Baby Sam” and “Thinking Like That” play off folksier numbers (like the harmonica- and brush-filled “Wild Roses”), and faint but resonating guitar effects work as the perfect eerie backsplash to Sandoval’s more cryptic deliveries.
But perhaps more stirring still is Sandoval’s seemingly endless enigmatic quirks. A relative recluse, at least as far as music industry standards go, she’s known as well for her bizarre onstage antics as she is for her thoughtful lyrics and pristine deliveries. For the few rare tours she’s embarked on, Sandoval has been known to play from a nearly blacked-out stage, crooning and cooing to an audience that can’t even see her face. There’s no telling what she may have in store for this go-around, but it’s safe to say that any Sandoval-fronted performance promises to be nothing short of breathtaking. This Monday, September 28, Club Mercy presents Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions at SOhO. The show is all-ages, and tickets and info are available by calling 962-7776 or visiting clubmercy.com.