Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” Lyrics Meaning

Reportedly Mazzy Star is a musical act that was never into the celebrity side of things, possessing a preference towards not dealing too much with the media or public. Relatedly, they have never revealed the actual meaning of “Fade Into You”. And when you also consider the open-endedness of the lyrics, we will take all of that to likewise mean that this piece is open to listener interpretation.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Mazzy Star's Fade Into You at

But that is not to imply that there isn’t a discernible storyline present. Rather, let’s put forth that the 1990s itself was a decade in which the mainstream started embracing the darker side of human nature, not always being obligated to depict matters as being as idyllic. 

And likewise, let’s say that pre-1990s, a female singer may have been more reluctant to release a song about a romantic interest like this one. In other words, the addressee is depicted as a dark, depressed soul, someone who only perhaps the vocalist herself truly understands and appreciates. 

Or put differently this is a more realistic love song than your usual romantic fare, because after all, romantic interests aren’t always super confident or alpha males. Sometimes, maybe a lady will fall for a guy with palpable emotional and psychological issues. And that is how the relationship at the center of this track reads. But regardless, this is in fact a love song. 

Song’s Title (“Fade Into You”)

Based on the lyrics, what the title most likely points to is the concept of the vocalist desiring and/or being in the process of becoming one with the addressee, i.e. incorporating her soul into his, so to speak. And again, doing so would be an expression of love, one where the addressee is shown as not actually being aware – perhaps due to how depressed he is – of how deeply the narrator is into him.

But that said, there has been notable debate as to what exactly the titular phrase means. But whereas the intricacies of what is being put forth may be debatable, the thesis sentiment itself is not. 

And what’s this thesis sentiment we are talking about? It is basically about the singer wanting to become as close to the apple of her eye as much possible, despite what may be perceived as his reluctance to open up to anyone. 

And to note the two writers, i.e. the core members of Mazzy Star, may have been romantically involved at the time they put “Fade Into You” together. So going back to their reluctance to deal with the public, it is very much feasible that these sentiments were based on their own real-life relationship, i.e. the addressee coming off like a recluse.

Lyrics to "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star

When was “Fade Into You” released?

Mazzy Star is a band from Santa Monica that officially formed in the late 1980s. They managed to drop four studio albums between 1990 and 2013 as well as a few singles within that timeframe. 

“Fade Into You”, which came out as part of their second album “So Tonight That I Might See”, is considered to be the band’s signature song. Though it came out as part of the album in October of 1993, it was officially released as a single on April 12th, 1994.

Song’s Success

In terms of Fade Into You‘s chart showing, the tune most notably peaked at number three on Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart. Furthermore, it marked the only time Mazzy Star made it onto the iconic Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.

Fade Into You


This song was written by Mazzy Star members Hope Sandoval and David Roback (1958-2020). The late Roback also acted as the track’s producer. 

It should be noted that Hope and David reportedly wrote this song in a single day.

More Facts about “Fade Into You”

“Fade Into You” earned itself two music videos, with the director of the first being Kevin Kerslake and the second Merlyn Rosenberg. The original was the one that first aired on MTV, while the latter was broadcast for international audiences.

All things considered, it’s easy to assume that this song could have been an even bigger hit if Mazzy Star was really into promoting it. But instead Roback and Sandoval were true musicians at heart, as in being more interested in making music than being celebrities. 

So that said, even though this song possesses a relatively humble chart showing as far as a major hit is concerned, more indicative of its actual impact is the fact that it has been featured on a number of movies and well-known television shows throughout the years. Some of them include (in the latter regard):

  • Gilmore Girls (2000)
  • Desperate Housewives (2004)
  • CSI: New York (2008)

And it was also primarily responsible for making “So Tonight That I Might See” the only platinum album (or one that has been certified at all) in Mazzy Star’s catalog.

This song was covered by Miley Cyrus, to much fanfare, in 2021.

3 Responses

  1. John, age 71. says:

    Very good review, thanks.

  2. narbird dave says:

    I think it’s some heart-throb guy didn’t know she was a lesbian, seems pretty obvious to me

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