Katy Goodman went from bassist/back up vocalist of indie rock band Vivian Girls to lead vocalist/front woman of the dream-pop band La Sera. Three albums in and Goodman shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011 (while still gigging with Vivian Girls) Goodman moved back home for two weeks, bought a guitar, a tiny practice amp, and wrote some songs. A few weeks later, she realized she had "sort of written an album by accident." The result was a solid 12 track self titled record produced by longtime friend and Vivian Girls' video director, Brady Hall. In 2012, La Sera returned with Sees The Light(Hardly Art) and critics took note of Goodman's progress in songwriting and vocal delivery. Buzz around La Sera started to grow and hasn't stopped since.
La Sera now completes the trilogy with Hour of The Dawn(Hardly Art, 2014). The new record finds Todd Wisenbaker handling producer and guitar duties. Expect to hear songs that are faster, louder, and more aggresive than previous releases with lots of great catchy vocal lines. La Sera keeps evolving and Goodman is quickly becoming a master of her craft, creating songs that resonate with fans of Vivian Girls and new found La Sera die hards. Hour of The Dawn is a testament to Goodman's star power and her steady rise to the mountain tops of rock & roll!
The new album by Grimes was finally released last week. I was seriously counting down the weeks for this and the new album by Trust out this week. They are sort of like my Zola Jesus and Cold Cave of this year. Those albums were two of my favorites from 2011. And I can tell you for sure that Grimes and Trust will both be in heavy rotation in my life this year. Grimes is Claire Boucher from Montreal. She is fantastic and you should get to know this album. She has a bit of the baby voice. Which can be annoying in person. But it works for me on this album. Reminds me at times of The Cranes. Visions is her third album and her first on 4AD. Her first two albums have just been reissued as well. But they really are not as great as this new album. It falls on the dark side of things for sure. And is just a lovely little album. Check it out for yourself.
Listen to "Oblivion" from the new album Visions by Grimes...
The debut album from Trust has one of the most interesting album covers of the year so far. This is not the French metal band from the 70's with the same band name. This is the Trust from Canada who just released their synth pop dark wave album on Arts & Crafts. Trust is Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski from the band Austra. This dudes voice is amazing. I can't get over it. Like a mix of Clan of Xymox and Bronski Beat. Maybe with some Kermit the Frog mixed in there. It is that good. I have been really anticipating this album after hearing a couple of the singles. And it does not disappoint. Like albums from The Knife and Cold Cave it is a solid dark wave synth album. There are stand out tracks on this album for sure. But it really holds together as a complete fantastic debut album. I still can't figure out that cover art. I can't stop staring at it. It is dark and mysterious and spooky. Just like the music. It is entirely unique and I have not seen anything quite like it. Just like the album. I am loving it. Whatever it is.
I fell in love with the first A Place To Bury Strangers album back in 2007. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and hit me over the head. It ended up in the #1 spot in my top 50 that year. And it has remained one of my favorites over the last couple of years. They put out their second album in 2009 and I have been patiently waiting for the next album from them. I didn't think we would have to wait until 2012! But at least they have thankfully given us a new EP this last week. Onwards To The Wall is out now on CD and LP. This band blows me away every time I listen to them. I always forget just how much I love them until I listen to them again. It is like falling in love all over again. This EP of five songs was worth the wait. And it has got me very excited for the new album later in the year. You have to listen to A Place To Bury Strangers loud. There is no other way. It is never too late to become a fan of this band. They are made for fans of the louder side of shoegaze. Fans of The Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine. I love listening to these guys in my car. But it usually has to be dark out and preferably cold out. This is the perfect time of year for A Place To Bury Strangers. But there really is no bad time for A Place To Bury Strangers.
Listen to "So Far Away" by A Place to Bury Strangers from the new Onwards To The Wall EP...
The Twilight Sad have just released their amazing new album No One Can Ever Know. It is also available on CD and LP. I have been a casual fan of these guys over the last couple of years. But they never quite made it into my favorites list. But this album has really changed my stance on The Twilight Sad. It really is a fantastic album. I was hooked after the first listen and have quickly fallen in love. I will be going back and giving their older albums another listen. I may have missed something back then. Or maybe this new album is just more amazing than the last two. They put out their first album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters back in 2007. Forget The Night Ahead came out in 2009. There is no mistaking that this band is from Scotland. They is no hiding that accent on these records. This album is just so good. I can't get over it. Another amazing winter album. This band are not too different from A Place To Bury Stangers. They explore many of the elements of shoegazing while maybe adding in some folk elements. Imagine My Bloody Valentine with some Leonard Cohen. I am a bit sad that it took me so long to become a fan of these guys. But I seriously had tried before. This new album is just so good. There was no way that I was not going to love it.
Ever saunter past that dive-y drag joint on 16th between Mission and Valencia and find yourself wondering just what is up, er, goes down all night and all day at Esta Noche? Devotees of local darlings the Sandwitches caught a peek of the ladies' very own savory stage show à la Noche in their new Ryan Brown directed video for "In the Garden" -- the lead off track for this year's stellar full-length LP Mrs. Jones' Cookies (brought to you by the fine folks at Empty Cellar Records) -- featuring more than a few fab familiar faces of Amoeba Music SF. Work it out, ladies, werrrrrrrk!
This vid release comes hot-off-the-heels of another stellar Sandy jam: the girls' new two-song 7" single "The Pearl" (out on Hardly Art) dropped last week, a video for the b-side "Benny's Memory Palace" also having just been released, and with Grace and Heidi embarking on a Sandwitches European tour it would seem that our little hometown trio is poised for some long-overdue appreciation and recognition. From here on out let there be no mention of their beginnings as back-up singers (even if it is, tsk, one of the better aspects of them Fresh & Onlys). Come get the single (it's naught but $4.98), enjoy the vids (try not to over-ogle) and, if you can, get off your duff support the Sandwitches' local color-stories as they paint the Old World gold this November. Sophia McInerney's video for "Benny's Memory Palace" follows below:
I have always been a sucker for shoegaze and dream pop. I just can't get enough of it. I have always loved it and I always will. I just love the dreamy and hazy feel of a really good dream pop album. It can take me away from reality to some other sort of magical place. It is my new age music. Sometimes I hear an album like this for the first time and I immediately fall in love. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. This happened the first time I heard Washed Out. I immediately fell in love. This happened again with Teen Daze. The new album, A Silent Planet, immediately became one of my favorites. I can't get enough and I keep going back to it. It is one of those perfect albums for a hazy overcast morning. Teen Daze is sort of the Canadian version of Sigur Ros. The new album is just six songs. But it really is no shorter than many full length albums these days. It really will transport you to another dimension. I fell in love with the album after just seeing the album artwork. It reminds me of a 70s sort of futuristic painting. A very specific view of science fiction. I sort of expected the album to be all instrumental. Sort of in the style of the amazing album The Days of Mars by Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom. But this album by Teen Daze is full of vocals. It could easily fit in with any band on Sarah Records like Secret Shine or Brighter. But with a more futuristic synthy element. I really do love this album. It is currently near the top of my list.