La Sera

Music For Listening to Music To

Polyvinyl

Mar 02, 2016 Issue # 56 - Best of 2015 - Father John Misty and Wolf Alice Bookmark and Share


Following on the heels of 2014's explosive Hour of the Dawn, La Sera (now officially a duo with band leader and former Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman teaming up with Hour of the Dawn producer and guitarist Todd Wisenbaker) returns with their Polyvinyl debut after three albums for the Hardly Art label. It is a more understated and pensive effort than Hour of the Dawn, with Wisenbaker now taking on a greater role. Ceding production duties to none other than Ryan Adams (who recorded this in analog at his Pax Am studio and plays synth on one track) allows Wisenbaker's guitar playing to really shine here. It steals the show on the gorgeous "A Thousand Ways" and jumps from sounding like Johnny Marr on that track to echoing Ward Dotson of The Gun Club on the more upbeat "Time to Go." Not only that, but up to this point, the only lead vocal and songwriting credit found on a La Sera track was Goodman's. This time, Wisenbaker co-wrote "One True Love" and his voice can also be heard on "I Need an Angel" and "Nineties." Lest you think that Goodman ceded control over the band she formed while still in Vivian Girls back in 2010, though, most of the songs and lead vocals are still hers here. The highlights are plenty, such as the aforementioned "A Thousand Ways" and side one closer "Take My Heart." The latter song is perhaps a sequel to the 2012 Sees the Light track "Break My Heart," the updated title perhaps hinting at the fact that Goodman and Wisenbaker are newly married now. On this track, Goodman sings beautifully and Wisenbaker responds with a guitar line that could've been lifted from a mid-'80s Go-Betweens song such as "Twin Layers of Lightning." (www.iamkatygoodman.com

Author rating: 8/10

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