La Sera Impresses on Sunny New Album

It may only be March, but the weather seems to have decided that summer is here, and musicians are beginning to follow suit.  Such is the case with La Sera’s “Sees the Light,” the sophomore release from former Vivian Girl Katy Goodman.  Sweet, wispy vocals and breezy guitar work permeate the album’s 10 tracks, creating a listening experience that is, for the most part, summery bliss.

Goodman begins opening track “Love that’s Gone” with the line “I love my life without you,” introducing a theme of post break-up happiness that reappears throughout the album, and  the song’s pleasant guitar solos coupled with Goodman’s soothing voice create that same idea of freedom sonically.  “Please Be My Third Eye,” the most upbeat track here, follows with jangly, almost lo-fi instrumentals and layered vocals that will have you reaching for the replay button.  The thumping beat of the third track, “I Can’t Keep You In My Mind,” features a distinct melody from the first two songs and a delightful chorus, making this first portion of the album an extremely solid and diverse listen.

As “Sees the Light” continues, the remaining tracks rely on the same vocal tricks and instrumental style, but the well-sequenced shifts in tempo keep it fresh almost all of the way through.  Its success only begins to wane during the last three tracks, which all fall into the midtempo range and make for a slightly tedious stretch.  Nevertheless, they also see Goodman trying out some new styles, with “How Far We’ve Come Now” recalling the Dum Dum Girls’ distorted guitar work and “Don’t Stay” sounding strikingly similar to Asobi Seksu’s high-pitched vocals.

While it’s certainly not perfect, “Sees the Light” is a definite step forward for La Sera, whose distinctly airy vocals run the risk of making her songs indistinguishable from one another. Goodman’s simple lyrics and laid-back melodies may not be revolutionary, but this collection of songs is relaxing, charming, and at times, irresistibly catchy.  “Sees the Light” hits stores tomorrow, and is shaping up to be one of the first great summer albums of 2012.

 

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Key Tracks:

“Love That’s Gone”

“Please Be My Third Eye”

“I Can’t Keep You In My Mind”

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