La Sera – Sees the Light

Rating: ★★★★ ·

In 2011, Katy Goodman stepped away from the Vivian Girls and made her first record under this new moniker. That album was the essence of a dream, with echoes upon echoes of vocals layered on ethereal pop instrumental in the background. A lot must have changed since then; relationships broken, new attitudes adopted, and an overall new sound for La Sera on Sees the Light, a sound which goes in a bold, good, direction.

From the very start of the album you can pick up on the new changes for the band. If it’s any indication of a change, the first track on the self titled release of last year was “Beating Heart,” whereas Sees the Light begins with “Love That’s Gone,” and we have the new, bitter and resolved Katy Goodman. Instantly you can hear this change in the music: the dreamy washes of echo on the vocals are gone, the drums are more centralized, giving a real and solid feel to the song. It’s as if the honeymoon period of dreams is over and what’s left is a woman scorned, trying to move away from the gay melodies of yesterday.

After the first song gets things going on Sees the Light, the second song, “Please Be My Third Eye,” takes it up a notch, increasing the pace and the level of intensity; the drums are always pushing, the guitars are guttural, and Goodman commands the song, pushing it around to show her strength. This strength continues on through the next few songs, and then enters into a more reserved state on “It’s Over Now,” which is the first real breakdown on the album. The placement of this slower, more morose song this far along into the progression of tracks helps to convey some emotion that is perhaps lost on the faster songs; Goodman doesn’t ignore the pain completely, she just channels it in different ways.

Essentially, it’s a break-up album, but whereas most of those tend to linger on the whiny, sorrow-filled, my heart was broken-listen-to-me cry-about-it, songs, La Sera focuses on channeling this sorrow into faster paced, bolder, and overall stronger pop tunes. It’s not a step to weakness, but rather a step away from it, and a focus on the strength that has always lied behind those spunky, girlish vocals. The emergence of this lingering power is what separate Sees the Light from the previous album and allows it to stand as a cohesive album as opposed to a series of cute songs strung together.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/La_Sera_-_Break_My_Heart.mp3]

Download: La Sera – Break My Heart [MP3]

Exciting New Jam from La Sera

Sure, I’m a day late on this little jam, but I just couldn’t help myself. It’s hard enough to dislike La Sera and Katy Goodman for her striking beauty, but when she’s rocking such incredible jams as this one, the world is her oyster.  Her newest album, Sees the Light, comes out on March 24th on the most excellent Hardly Art, and it’s shaping up to be quite a delight for all parties involved.  This jam is brief, poppy, and Goodman sounds as confident as ever–as she should be with tracks like this at her disposal. If you haven’t heard this yet, get to it!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/La_Sera_-_Break_My_Heart.mp3]

Download:La Sera – Break My Heart [MP3]

New Tunes from La Sera

Within minutes of receiving this email, this track blew up all over the Internet; everyone is posting it.  This is a testament to the excitement surrounding the new release from La Sera, which will be hitting the streets on March 24th via the good people over at Hardly Art.  I really like the juxtaposition of vocals and music on this track; it’s got this Misfits/Spits guitar riff pushing you on through, but we all know Katy Goodman’s vocals come with that girl-pop sugar–we all know we can’t live without it.  It’s a nice little twist to what’s become a moderately watered down genre, so my hopes are high for this record, Sees the Light.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/LaSera_PleaseBeMyThirdEye.mp3]

Download: La Sera – Please Be My Third Eye [MP3]