La Sera delivers with their self-titled album that’s perfect for summer. This lo-fi upbeat surf pop is a match made in heaven for your trips to the beach and general summertime shenanigans. With short song lengths, it’s easy to maintain the listener’s interest going from one sunny song to another. All the songs are soft and upbeat, with dreamy vocals and catchy melodies reminiscent of 50s pop and surfer rock. Practically every song is listenable, with their chill yet upbeat melodies.
Yes, La Sera is the new project of “Kickball” Katy Goodman of the Vivian Girls, but don’t think the sounds are at all similar – La Sera has no hint of the garage punk of Goodman’s past. Think more 50s and 60s girl-pop meets surfer rock with a celestial lo-fi twist. Some songs make you want to frolic around; some songs make you want to be lying on the beach with your toes in the sand. Each song has its own twist, but all of them fit the dreamy pop mold that Goodman has created in La Sera.
“Beating Heart” serves as a great intro track, slowly building up. It has a bit of a dark, haunting feel to it, especially with lyrics like “Aim for the heart; it’s only beating.” This song showcases the heavier surf rock, while the following song, “Never Come Around,” holds true to the beachy vibe with a light and fun feel. Other songs that fit this upbeat mold include “You’re Going to Cry,” “Left This World” and “Been Here Before.”
“Lift Off” and “Sleeptalking” present sunny, upbeat doo-wop that is very 50s surf pop. “Under the Trees” continues with the surfer/hippie vibe, perhaps because of the light percussion with pretty vocals.
Not all is fun in the sun, though; “I Promise You” is a nice change-up from the fun beachy songs by being a sweet love song that is still upbeat. Similarly, “Dove Into Love” is a slower love song, with lo-fi vocals and instrumentals, while “Hold” really showcases the vocal talent.
La Sera demonstrates great promise and outstandingly varied musical skill on the part of Goodman, as this is such a difference from the Vivian Girls and yet both can thrive in their own separate realms. This album quickly engages the listener with familiar old-school sounds mixed with light and fun melodies. It is clearly a superficial album, with no track lasting long enough to establish any notable depth. However, if you take it for what it is – a light, fun, summer album — then you will not be disappointed. Each song is playable and they go very well together, making a great backdrop for a day in the sun.