There was a period in the ’90s when Mazzy Star’s languid single, “Fade Into You,” was inescapable. It was everywhere. Were you in school? It was the slow dance song for the couples at prom. Going to the movies? It was on the soundtrack of whatever you were watching. Were you at work? It played over the loudspeakers in malls. Driving to work? It felt like it was on every goddamn radio station. As is inevitable when a song achieves that kind of ubiquity, a lot of people got burned out on it. It becomes a time capsule song—the music that marks a certain point in history with an indelible stamp, even if that stamp always sounded like it was on a handful of Quaaludes.
So when J Mascis decided to resurrect it for his performance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, it seemed like a bummer move at first. However, once it starts, you quickly remember why the underlying qualities of the music lingered in the mind in the first place. Mascis’s voice and guitar playing are a natural fit for the tune, and it really pushes him over that oft-commented-on line between his classic-rock stylings and indie guitar swing, a.k.a. the Neil Young Tipping Point. It may be obvious, but in this case the simple heartfelt style suits him, and the song, very well.