Originally begun as a solo side project from her time with Vivian Girls and All Saints Day, Katy Goodman’s current musical project La Sera has developed a national profile with three critically applauded albums, her self titled debut, Sees the Light and Hour of the Dawn, which were released through Hardly Art Records. Goodman’s last album, 2014’s Hour of the Dawn was very much a punk-inspired album; however, with the release of “High Notes,” the first single from her forthcoming album, Music For Listening To Music To reveals an artist, who has gone through both personal and artistic transitions. Sonically and structurally, the song reveals that Goodman has returned to an elegant and solid simplicity — it pairs the sort of shimmering guitar chords of The Smiths and the propulsive, old-school chugging rhythm of Johnny Cash (in particular, think of “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and countless others) with Goodman’s wistfully ethereal coos. And interestingly enough La Sera has added personnel to flesh out the project’s sound — Goodman’s guitarist, cowriter and husband Todd Wisenbaker, who is probably best known as a member of Listening To Music To‘s producer Ryan Adams‘ backing band.
Of course, “High Notes” makes a vital connection between punk, post-punk and renegade country that countless others have done before while possessing a sneering, real life irony that many of us have faced before — after a breakup, taking the high road not because you actually believe that it’s the best thing but for appearances and because you want to get the last word. It’s probably the most honest and heartfelt sentiment I’ve come across in quite some time.