Breaking Up, California Style – La Sera Sees the Light

What is about all the phenomenal records by female songwriters and vocalists (and/or female fronted bands) this year? Whatever it is, all I can say is keep it coming!!!

For the record, they are definitely still coming as the following phenomenal musicians will be releasing new records this year: Cat Power, Santigold, Best Coast, and Lower Dens to name a few (psst! at least two of these groups are featured on this week’s First Listen (click here)). At some point, I will put together a second mix of songs from all these records (e.g. Sharon Van Etten, Grimes, Frankie Rose, Julia Holter, etc.) after getting through the next series of albums I’ve been obsessing over of late.

La Sera — Sees the Light

Sees the Light is the second release from La Sera, the nom de plume and side project for Katy Goodman of the Vivian Girls, and it is yet another wonderful installment in the 60s-era pop reminiscent of those excellent Wall of Sound records. Much like She and Him and Best Coast, La Sera’s music on Sees the Light treads in the land of hazy, California sun-drenched, dream-pop. But, don’t think the term “dream pop” means this is totally a sleepy, mellow record. Sees the Light oscillates between somber, reflective songs and catchy, upbeat numbers (a sort of early Yo La Tengo fuzzy guitar sound, see Fakebook) like “Please Be My Third Eye”, the first song I heard from the album back in January and totally hooked me, and “Break My Heart”. From the press around the record, I’ve discovered that this is a “break-up album”, which helps put the title into (clever) perspective, and makes a lot of sense with tracks names like “It’s Over Now” and “I’m Alone”. However, for a break-up record, it is not a downer or self-involved (or even self-flagellating) account of a break-up. Rather, La Sera sounds relieved (e.g. see title of the record).  The aforementioned “I’m Alone” comes across as a self-empowered epiphany instead of an existential crisis and the darker, mod-like drone of “Drive On” has the feel of a lover looking in the rearview mirror with little regret – think Rilo Kiley‘s “Breaking Up from their last record Under the Blacklight (I think I was the only RK fan I know who liked this record). But, unless, you were paying close attention, I wouldn’t fault you for thinking this is a really pleasant thirty minute record of summer and smile evoking pop-candy. So do yourself a favor and do a little daydreaming with La Sera

  • To listen to the entire record, click here (via Spotify).
  • For more on La Sera, visit her page on the Hardly Art website here.
  • If you like what you hear and want to see her live, check tour dates here.

Lucius — Lucius EP

Sticking with the themes of dreamy and female vocalists, check out the female duo Lucius’ new self-titled EP.  I heard these ladies way back on an NPR All Songs Podcast and have been eagerly anticipating a collection of songs after hearing the gorgeous first single, “Don’t Just Sit There” – reminds me a of a mix of The Sundays and The Cocteau Twins.  Even though I’d like a full album (too much to ask?), I’ll take four over just the one!

  • Check out the EP here (via Spotify).

…for something completely different:  Now, I’m not a huge metal fan, but every once in awhile you hear or see something that totally makes you smile with childish glee. For example, check out this hysterically funny video and great cut from Portland’s Red Fang: “Wires

note. this video would make Beavis and Butthead very excited and should tickle the little troublemaker in all of us.  note 2d. don’t try any of the above at home.  I’m going to assume some trained professionals were behind this.

more tunes in the A.M.,


2 thoughts on “Breaking Up, California Style – La Sera Sees the Light

  1. Another great female-fronted (at least partially) band I saw recently is He’s My Brother She’s My Sister. Great show and they’ll be in Chicago (Empty Bottle and the Riv fronting Edward Sharpe) at the end of May. I think it’s up your alley.

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