Katy Goodman likes to experiment. Musically, I mean (pervert). The bassist and vocalist has gained most notoriety from all-girl fuzz trio Vivian Girls, but she also played in short-lived duo All Saints Day with Cat Power’s Gregg Foreman. Now Goodman is onto something new, and it’s just as dream/fuzz/pop as ever. It’s just what she does, ok?
La Sera’s eponymous debut was, according to the label’s website, inspired by “early pop hits from the 1950s and ethereal choral vocals.” Indeed, there are moments of hit-you-over-the-head influence from just those two sources. The single “Never Come Around” could, at it’s very melodic core, be something Spector himself wrote during the beach years of American pop. The same can be said about the album’s other spectacular single “Devils Hearts Grow Gold.”
Many of the other tracks go the way of the “ethereal choral vocals” influence. While they too have elements of simple ’50s-era pop hits, they’re slow, dreamy and, as the label so aptly put it, ethereal. What this makes is a slow, ethereal, yet very simple and pop-minded record. Interesting? Yes! Well-written? Pretty much, yeah! A little too low-key and hazy? Probably, yeah that too.
La Sera is a nice effort that just keeps too low a profile to really stand out and be recognized. Goodman clearly likes to experiment with variations on her haze-pop musical stylings, and La Sera is another well-done experiment. But unless she unleashes herself a little bit (see: Vivian Girls’ self-titled album), her releases are going to stay under the radar. Spector would be disappointed, but that guy’s a creep anyway.
La Sera is out now. Buy it at Hardly Art.