Katy Goodman -- otherwise known as one third of Vivian Girls yet better known as La Sera -- has been making a name for herself with her nostalgic California pop-meets-punk songs. Each one boasts a fiercely catchy drum beat and a seamless layered vocals, all packaged in a short (usually) two-and-a-half minute song.
Goodman's upcoming album, Sees the Light, is due via Hardly Art on March 27, and it's a departure from her sun-kissed beachy beginnings. Sees the Light is more aggressive, more direct, likely because she's built her confidence. La Sera's first record came out on a whim after two weeks of writing an "accidental" record at her parents' house, but Sees the Light had more time to grow.
The video for "Please Be My Third Eye" showcases her growth, but don't be mistaken: She still has that youthful vibe. Follow her as she rides her bike, heads to the arcade and bowling alley. The second single, "Break My Heart," is a kind of backward love song -- a plea to have her heart broken set to the sound of surfer-punk guitar. It's that kind of Best Coast playfulness that gets us -- sure it's silly, and the lyrics aren't all that emotionally deep, but it's the lightness that makes her so alluring. Her record has been described as "break-up songs for the best kind of break up," and it's true. Like any sappy romance movie, we can't help but indulge in painful memories. La Sera just has a way of making them bearable without all of that folksy catharsis.
Reviving '50s and '60s pop music and combining elements of punk is nothing new -- it's been done by plenty of indie bands, but that's not the point. La Sera writes some catchy pop hooks and sings about heartbreak, two things that will always endure. See for your self Saturday night at Irenic.