Hope Sandoval: Divine Mandate

hope_litho I found myself in a position to buy music on a Monday.  You do realize we at TWJ think about music ALLZEETIME right?  I’m serious.  We wake up to music, think about music at work and then race home to it.  It’s a 16 hour-a-day obsession.  Sean will say his dreams have soundtracks, but don’t let him fool you, it’s all Macy Gray.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  Is there?

Sorry.  It was Monday, and I was in a music store, but didn’t have a shopping list, which is always very dangerous.  Yet nothing was popping out at me.  Perhaps most folks would walk out of the store, satisfied they had tried and looked, but I seem to be unable to leave a tune section of any kind without bringing meat back to the cave (I shop at Kohls = I can afford to do this).  Enter something called the “Faith Buy”.

This is what occurs when you see an album cover/track title that intrigues you to such a degree that you’re inclined to buy it without knowing a single…solitary…thing about it.  You are placing faith in your instincts; hoping the design of the album will fulfill the expectations it gives you.  It can be a dangerous game, but in whatever I bought with this process, there’s always been at least one song that redeems the effort.  You should try it sometime.  Full disclosure: using this process, I tend to buy cute lady albums.

Now enter Hope Sandoval.  Her album cover for her solo debut (she’s vocalist for Mazzy Star as well) seemed honest.  A girl with flowers is a simple enough thing.  I deduced that the intent of the songs would be straight-forward, but the emotion behind them will bring complexity.  And the last name Sandoval seemed so familiar, turns out this is why.

She is ease, she is fields of sun and grass.  Hope Sandoval is closed-eyed swaying.  If ever there was a Lady of Gaze, Float and Stare, she is it .  Her backing band, The Warm Inventions, adds a fullness around the background, complete with cello, bells and instrumental piano interludes.  The voice of Sandoval, however, is the tender bubble which that background surrounds.  Sandoval has always said that she feels the most uncomfortable on stage, with people staring up at her.

"Live, I just get really nervous. Once you’re onstage, you’re expected to perform. I don’t do that. I always feel awkward about just standing there and not speaking to the audience. It’s difficult for me."

The answer to this being, SPEAK TO THE AUDIENCE!!!!  We would love more insight into that hidden sorrow of yours.  But recording and writing is what she’s most passionate about, and let’s not disturb the baby panda when it’s napping.  It’s too cute as it is.

Happy discoveries like this are the reason to explore music, and to sometimes take chances.  The racks at Best Buy won’t offer up much anymore, but occasionally surprises arise if you let your aesthetic instincts be your guide.  Try a “Faith Buy” today.

[Hope Sandoval Website]

-Matt

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