On the debut record from her new side project La Sera, the Vivian Girls’ Katy Goodman serves up bite size samples of lo-fi twee pop.
“Beating Heart” gives the album a flowing, echo-y introduction and from there on out 60’s doo-wop and folk influences take over in short, hazy bursts. With no songs longer than 2 minutes and 57 seconds, the 12-track La Sera breezes by in about 26 minutes. Goodman’s vocals are sugary, but her delivery is melancholy enough to make them bittersweet instead of cavity inducing.
Simple melodies and minimal percussion set each song into motion. The interplay between the layered vocal melody and the harsh-by-comparison picked guitar — particularly on both “Never Come Around” and “You’re Going to Cry” — creates a brilliant contrast that gives the record some edge.
The melodies the vocals deliver are much stronger than the lyrics that come along with them. Often dealing with getting over love or getting love back, La Sera’s words feel like place holders. “I’ll write you a song a day until I get you back,” Goodman sings on “I Promise You.” This doesn’t detract from the overall album too much, however, because the lyrics tend to get lost in the melodic layers anyway.
The market is overflowing with similar music, but Le Sera, despite some weak moments, deserves to be counted among the better records released during this current 60’s pop revival.
La Sera will open for Tennis at Local 506 on Monday, March 7. Tickets are $10.