Release Date: Mar 27, 2012
Record label: Hardly Art
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Pop, Noise Pop
Within the first few notes of opener “Love That’s Gone”—before a single word is uttered—it’s pretty clear that Sees the Light is a breakup record. In fact, Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman’s second long-player under the La Sera moniker could convey the emotions of eternally gray days even if the vocals were completely stripped away. Then again, the song titles leave little to the imagination (“Break My Heart,” “It’s Over Now,” “Don’t Stay”).
On her second album under the La Sera name, Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman changes things up radically behind the scenes but still ends up with a record that is just as good, if not better, than her excellent self-titled debut. On that record all the music was written and played by Goodman's friend Brady Hall, and he put together a gauzy and sweet update of an early pop/girl group sound that fit Goodman's charmingly direct lyrics and vocals perfectly. On Sees the Light Goodman takes a larger role, writing the music and playing bass as well as singing.
La SeraSees The Light[Hardly Art; 2012]By Andrew Halverson; March 28, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGThere is a certain struggle or trial to get to the sound artists want to capture, always with some little thing that gets lost in translation in the end, no matter how well regarded it is. La Sera is the solo divergent from Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls and All Saints Day, so her situation is slightly different in regards to artistic and sonic fulfillment. She was pretty much releasing material with only these groups until 2011, when she released La Sera's self-titled debut album and when you're a part of fairly high profile projects like Vivian Girls, comparisons will naturally be drawn, and they were.
Stripped of her day-to-day outfit Vivian Girls’ fence of lo-fi fuzz, Katy Goodman’s faultless way with Technicolor pop melodies blazes through [a]La Sera[/a]’s second album. As refreshing and intoxicating as a Bloody Mary in the California sunshine, the seamless combo of hard guitars and soft vocals on ‘I Can’t Keep You In My Mind’ is The Ronettes by way of Kenickie – lovelorn lusciousness in a flammable polyester frock. It might all be about splitting up, but the powerful doo-wop of ‘Break My Heart’, Doris Day-styled Pacific Ocean blues of ‘Real Boy’ and astral elegance of ‘How Far We’ve Come Now’ make ‘Sees The Light’ more exhilarating than depressing.[i]Leonie Cooper[/i] .
Katy Goodman makes music that plays like punk’s answer to Beach Blanket Bingo: albums awash in sun-drunk melodies and easily sing-able choruses. On her second solo album as La Sera, Goodman (who pulls double duty as a member of Vivian Girls, too) has got one thing on her mind: love. Specifically finding, keeping and chucking it. It’s lightweight stuff, as easy to wash off as a day of surf and sand.
It's impossible to imagine Vivian Girls without "Kickball" Katy Goodman. Her high harmonies take a number of the songs from sloppily catchy to pop-friendly. Her bass playing often provides the most hummable melodies. At shows, while frontwoman Cassie Ramone plants herself at stage right, practicing strangulation on the neck of her guitar and testing the limits of her reverb pedals, Goodman can be found stage left, stepping to the mic for those aforementioned harmonies, jumping up and down, and smiling broadly.
I’m almost positive “Kickball Katy” Goodman is an innocent. For all the posing, quasi-ironic naivete that gets batted around amongst the female indie rock set today (Bethany Constantino of Best Coast is probably the brightest example), Goodman’s endearingly precious persona never seems feigned or detached. As a result, she’s always been a terrific foil for her Vivian Girls band mate Cassie Ramone, who’s unpolished singing voice, guitar work, and aggressively apathetic stage presence are perfectly complimented by Goodman’s cooing, fragile back up harmonies, nimble bass lines, and blissful dreamer aura.
It’s only natural to fear the worst when an integral part of a relatively big, relatively niche, band announces a side project. So, anyone who had any doubts about “Kickball Katy” Goodman, the Vivian Girls’ bassist, and her latest project, La Sera, is probably still letting out a long sigh of relief two albums in. Why the Vivian Girls inspire that amount of devotion in the first place is somewhat confusing but that’s besides the point.
It’s hard to tell if the homophone in the title Sees the Light is intentional or not, but ‘Seize The Light’ certainly makes for a fitting alternate title to the second solo LP from Vivian Girls’ bassist Katy Goodman, comprised of ten tightly focused slices of bedroom pop delivered in a swift half hour blast. By the term ‘bedroom pop’, I don’t mean lo-fi recordings where rugged charm is designed to mask ineptitude and half-sketched ideas. (In actual fact, these songs are crisp and clear all the way through the mix, much more so than Goodman’s work with the Vivian Girls).
In 2011, Katy Goodman took a break from her roll as bassist/vocalist and one-third of Brooklyn's Vivian Girls to assert her own singular identity as La Sera. Though still a Vivian Girl, Goodman's La Sera debut forged a slightly different path, eschewing the fuzzy haze of her main band for Mowtown-esque girl group pop, simple melodic ditties that exposed the angelic voice previously hidden by the rawk and roll of Vivian Girls. .
Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls fame makes her return to her indie pop identity as La Sera, but this time around her sugary innocence comes with an edge. Sees the Light takes Goodman’s syrupy vocals and turns them into irresistible tales of heartbreak pop. This isn’t your average breakup album suited for sob sessions, but rather the independence and aggression that follow, when you realize, like Goodman herself, that things aren’t so fragile after all.
Like her former Vivian Girls band mate Frankie Rose, "Kickball" Katy Goodman's solo debut as La Sera celebrated '50s and '60s pop in its most echo-laden form. Second time out, the singer/bass player continues to explore that period, yet comes at it from half-a-dozen different angles, with her trademark, stripped down indie rock aesthetic running throughout. More significantly, she binds those sounds together via end-of-a-relationship-themed tunes.
A great second solo LP from the science-savvy Vivian Girl. Chris Beanland 2012 Too many so-called solo albums feel like the narcissistic star of the piece is staring into a cracked mirror. They simply don't stand up. But not so this collection: Sees the Light (also, apparently, an intentional play on words when you speak its title out loud) is a fully accomplished effort.
This is a solid, sonically beautiful album by Katy Goodman of the excellent band, Vivian Girls. The only flaw is that Goodman doesn’t stick to the stripped down sound of the first track (“Love That’s Gone”), and instead moves into faster paced, more guitar driven pop, as in the album’s early release, “Please Be My Third Eye. ” The problem with her quicker stuff is that, while pretty, it tends to sound all the same; you end up desperate for the chorus, so that you can tell one song from another.
La Sera’s ‘Sees The Light’ was released this week, featuring ten brand new tracks. Katy Goodman’s break up album see’s La Sera take a more direct, aggressive approach to music making than was evident on her eponymous debut. DIY asked the Vivian Girls member to talk us through the record, track by track below, including references to Elvis, victims and out of tune Wurlitzers.1.