Monday, March 26, 2012

REVIEW: La Sera - Sees the Light

Never has the sound of breakup, disappointment and regret sounded so damn good. Instead of mopery and tears, La Sera's Sees the Light given us melody, wry lyrics, girl-group vocals and good musicianship. Since I don't tend to lyrics first, I didn't even think of it as a break up album when I was listening for the first time--until I glanced at the song titles. "Love That's Gone", "Break My Heart", "It's Over Now", and "I'm Alone" can make even a dense guy like me get the point.

La Sera is Katy Goodman. Katy's other band is Vivian Girls, which I mention here only because of the contrast it's sound provides to Sees the Light. While Vivian Girls have been at the forefront of the Brooklyn garage pop/shoegaze tidal wave, this album stakes out its pop claims from the start via the slow burning "Love That's Gone". A song of lost love that lures you in, and then delights you with great vocals and delightful guitar work.

The second track, and first single, "Please Be My Third Eye" ramps up the energy without leaving the pop template --


Sees the Light succeeds admirably on at least two fronts. First, it delivers a great set of songs. Second, the album reveals Katy to be an excellent pop artist. And this excellence goes beyond writing the melodies and delivering the vocals. The lyrics, pace, and instrumental textures are all top notch. There is plenty of variety, too. For example, "Please Be My Third Eye" has a chunky guitar riff, "I Can't Keep You On My Mind" has a fuzzed noise pop sound, and "Real Boy" has a galloping rhythm and a surfy guitar. This isn't a girl group update; this has the breadth and weight of a mature guitar pop album.

Amended: A video for "Real Boy" and "Drive On" has popped up on You Tube, so I've added it here:

I'll leave you with this fine rocker, "Break My Heart" --

Sees the Light is out tomorrow (March 27) on Hardly Art. I highly recommend it.

Label page for Katy Goodman
Twitter ( @iamkatygoodma )
Hardly Art (general)

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