Better known for her music collective Vivian Girls, bassist Katy Goodman, who records under the name La Sera, tones down the aggressive noise pop of her punkish trio and advances with a 1950’s candy-coated disposition on Sees the Light. Her solo project’s sophomore LP laments a love lost in the most lighthearted of ways: sheer enough for summer with a wistful lo-fi shimmer.
La Sera detaches herself from the droning shoegaze in her first self-titled album. The absence of layering in her vocals makes her sound less like an echo-advocate and more like an indie-pop craftswoman.
Lazy surf rock hooks make for a welcoming setting in album opener, “Love That’s Gone.” Goodman’s sentimental coos deal with loss in a saccharine, Mazzy Star kind of way. “You’re holding onto love that’s not enough,” Goodman sweetly sings.
Single “Please be My Third Eye” peaks as the most poppy and the most accessible track on Sees the Light. The track shows a more hopeful approach to love and companionship in comparison to the despondence of the rest of the album (“I can feel your heartbeat when my mind is clear/I can see your visions there’s nothing to fear”).
Goodman includes many swoons to showcase her girlish discomfort. The “ooos” and “aaas” of “It’s Over Now” present a shift toward increasingly bittersweet melodies and a more vulnerable Goodman; however, she never delves into sorrow too deeply. The artist keeps the album as nimble as heartbreak can get.
Similar to Vivian Girls’ style, Goodman sticks to shorter songs, and her brevity lessens the weight that could arise from such a dreamy album.
Sees the Light is a lovely album and an easy listen. It does not, however, present a fresh spin in the realm of fuzzy female indie-pop, and it can be overlooked amidst more focused predecessors like Dum Dum Girls or Best Coast. It’s been done before, but La Sera’s second album proves her to be dynamic as a punk princess of the Vivians, a harmonious songstress of La Sera, and an engaging bassist overall.
Printed on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 as: Sophmore album delivers summer tunes