Artist: La Sera
Title: Sees The Light
Record Label: Hardly Art
The first time I heard a song by La Sera, I was driving a van to Seattle with a friend. He told me it was one of the girls from Vivian Girls. The song was “Never Come Around”, and I really liked it. I have a hard time calling anything a “guilty pleasure”. I just don’t believe in the concept. If something scratches your itch, just let it happen. I don’t know if Vivian Girls or their relevant side-projects are considered guilty pleasures by anyone, but I can see Katy Goodman being cast aside due to her blog-hype associations. It’s a damn shame because she writes some killer tunes.
“Love That’s Gone”, the opener on her 2nd LP chugs away on a slow drum set, a heavy melody. While the genre La Sera is lumped into gets dismissed for using fuzzy guitars and reverb-soaked vocals, she’s penning incredible, emotional chord progressions and interesting vocal parts. For me, this latter attribute is what sets her outfit apart from the Best Coasts, the Cause Co-Motion!s of the world. “I Can’t Keep You In My Mind” has such an unusual chorus line; few songwriters are willing to abandon their preconceived fundamentals of pop to go for weird shit like this.
There are some lollygagging songs, some klunkers that could be discarded. “It’s Over Now” should’ve been over before she even picked up the guitar. “Real Boy” is pointless, dragging and extremely not fun to listen to.
After the admittedly weak middle third, “Drive On” picks up where the earlier tracks left off, although it sounds suspiciously like she only writes the good songs in one key. Whatever. The song has a groove that makes sense for the title: a grindhouse thriller, getaway driver anthem that could double as a James
Bond interlude. Kickball K hasn’t hit her solo stride yet, but it’s becoming something worthier of note with each album.