La Sera – La Sera

March 28th, 2011
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Que Sera, Sera, Whoever Will Echo, Will Echo

Katy Goodman has a good thing going, it seems. Not only has she achieved outrageous critical and tour success with her super-successful noise rock band, Vivian Girls, but now she has a little solo project, La Sera, that’s being received equally well. Pitchfork and AllMusic have already praised her up and down, but with 12 songs clocking in at under 30 minutes is there really that much to work with here?

The sound of dreamy, washed-out pop songs, inspired by girl groups of the ’50s and ’60s as well as California-flavored beach rock, has lately become a beaten dead horse: see Beach House, Tennis, Local Natives, The Drums, Grizzly Bear (and Department of Eagles), Real Estate (and Ducktails), etc. Goodman’s take on it is lovely, to be sure. Her combination of acoustic and electric guitars, simple bass and percussion underneath swirling looped and live vocals, with a touch of romantic melancholy, is a recipe for success with a certain set of angsty late teeangers and young 20-somethings.

Her songs are about love, loss, relationships, death and longing. Take a favorite, “I Promise You,” where she sings, “I’ll write you a song a day until I get you back / Count the ways that I love you, it’s so hard to keep track.” The album’s single and probably its strongest track, “Never Come Around,” has a little more energy to it. The drums and her layered blatantly suggest that Beach Blanket Bingo vibe, even with a psycho instrumental solo in the middle.

Yet a couple other ladies have done this, and potentially better. No one seems to remember New Buffalo, an Aussie on the Arts & Crafts label, whose Somewhere, Anywhere certainly informs this sound. New Buffalo’s “Cheer Me Up Thank You” or “Emotional Champ” beats out any of these La Sera tracks. So, for that matter, does the ethereal beauty of Julianna Barwick’s newest, The Magic Place, destroying La Sera with its complexity and mystery.

Goodman has a few other gems, but the last half of the record drags. Certain bands just drum up so much cachet that anyone from the band who does their own thing (Panda Bear, I’m looking at you) is guaranteed a certain amount of interest and appeal. For someone who doesn’t adore Vivian Girls (who sound nothing like this solo record), La Sera’s just another victim of a trend sweeping indie-pop up in its undertow.

Search for La Sera albums on Amazon

By Bill Chenevert Posted in Reviews ,

Related Vivian Girls Content:

High Fidelity
Vivian Girls – Share the Joy

Watch: New La Sera Video for “Please Be My Third Eye”
Vivian Girls Announce New Album Share the Joy
Download: Katy Goodman of La Sera and Vivian Girls Programs a Text-Adventure Game in Ruby
Black Lips and Vivian Girls to Tour North America
Drummer Ali Koehler Parts Ways With Best Coast
LISTEN: Cassie Ramone Releases New Song “Hangin On”
Fourth Annual Panache Hangover Party
Vivian Girls Release “Take It As It Comes” Video, Tour Dates
LISTEN: La Sera Releases New Track “Running Wild”
Under The Radar SXSW 2010 Day Party
WATCH: Vivian Girls Perform at Final Show in Brooklyn
La Sera Announce New Album Hour of the Dawn for May 2014 Release
Vivian Girls Announce Split and Final Shows
Black Lips Announce New Album and Upcoming Tour

La Sera – La Sera
Upset – She’s Gone

Related La Sera Content:

La Sera Debuts Video for “Devils Hearts Grow Cold”
La Sera Announces Summer 2012 Tour Dates
La Sera’s New Single and Tour Dates
Watch: New La Sera Double Video for “Real Boy” and “Drive On”
La Sera Releases Video Game
La Sera Releases Video for “Never Come Around”
WATCH: La Sera Releases New Video for “Fall In Place”
FYF’s LA Scavenger Hunt TODAY! + FYF Christmas Party, December 11th
Under the Radar SXSW 2012 Day Parties Announced Featuring of Montreal, Chairlift and The Drums
La Sera Releases “Never Come Around” MP3, Announces Tour Dates
La Sera Announces New Album Sees the Light for March 2012 Release
La Sera Announce Fall 2012 North American Tour Dates

La Sera – Hour of the Dawn
La Sera Live at the Fader Fort SXSW