La Sera (the band of former Vivian Girls member Katy Goodman) release their fourth album, on which they’ve lost none of their flair or energy: indeed, Music For Listening To Music exists on that lovely access of dream pop and noise pop. The album was produced by none other than Ryan Adams, and is released by Polyvinyl.
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I was gonna call this record’s bluff and play it alongside, well, anything that can fairly be called “music” -- how about we busy up that new Animal Collective record a little more, team Norm? -- but deep down I know it’d be a disservice to La Sera’s no frills jangle pop. My drop off point with Katy Goodman’s new band material was the glorious “Never Come Around”, which I adored and apparently felt I needed no more of; fortunately dipping back into her work is easy as, considering how good the weather is in all of her songs -- you can go outside, and you don’t even need to wrap up. ‘Music For Listening To Music To’ is quite simply lovely.
Vivian Girls parted ways after their most pop-oriented record, the decipherable and danceable ‘Share The Joy’, and La Sera’s music has narrowed that route to hooks: at times the riffs are surfy, at times straight twee pop, but they always lead the listener, beginning chill enough to use for background vibing and eventually coming into head-tilting (but maybe not turning) choruses. As with the La Sera records I’ve heard, this one is contented and fusses to no-one about nothing; the way these songs enter feels, above all, utterly unintrusive, with the bouncy but lowkey “One True Love” ushering in a second vocalist while bothering zero to make any kind of big deal out of it. As such, these songs sound both grabbing and meandering -- like if the Strokes had cared at all about their career past record number three.
This record ain’t really one for a hit single, instead riding a downbeat sense of joy through to its end times -- subliminal harmonies, beautified hints of psych tone and the occasional bouncy melody make this record what it is. I’d play it again, I just ask you get up and put it on, ‘cause I’m well and truly sunk into this chair.
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