A friend of mine from Ohio introduced me to Brit-pop, shoegazer, and noise rock at the same time, and I can safely say that I was the only kid in Tuolumne County who knew of Blur, the Catchers, Mazzy Star, the Vaselines, Belly, the Breeders, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, and Elastica. That was a special time when i could hear Nirvana, Mazzy Star, Green Day, and the Flaming Lips on commercial radio. Commercial radio!!!
Nothing Mazzy Star recorded ever touched the magic of "Fade Into You," which is okay, since that is still an unworldly single. But years later, when Hope Sandoval made a solo album with My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O'Ciosoig, I paid attention. "Bavarian Fruit Bread" is still one of my favorite records, that sounds as fresh now as it did ten years ago.
Through The Devil Softly is perhaps one small step below BFB, but it's still an uncanny and eerie record. Her "Is-she-singing-on-key-or-not" delivery still makes me weak in the knees, and the reverb-y instruments (from autoharp to twangy western guitar) makes such a weird juxtaposition that somehow works perfectly. It's a perfect cd for the dead of winter when it's dark and murky out. It's an album full of doubts, questions, and hauntings. And that makes it awesome.
This album will still sound amazing ten years from now.