Over the almost six year history of this site, Katy Goodman and her current musical project La Sera have become a JOVM mainstay. And over that period, La Sera, which was initially begun as a solo side project from Goodman’s time with Vivian Girls and All Saints Day developed a growing national profile with the release of three critically applauded albums — the project’s self-titled debut, Sees the Light and Hour of the Dawn. Each successive album had Goodman expanding upon and experimenting with her sound — with 2014’s Hour of the Dawn being the most punk-leaning album she had released to date. Goodman’s fourth and upcoming album, Music For Listening To Music To will further cement her reputation for continually expanding upon her sound, while revealing an artist show has gone through major personal and artistic transitions. In fact, one of the biggest personal transitions that has informed and inspired the album thematically and sonically is the fact that Goodman’s husband Todd Wisenbaker, best known as a member of Music For Listening‘s producer Ryan Adams‘ backing band, has joined the project as a guitarist and cowriter.
Now, if you’ve been on this site in the past month or so, you may recall that I wrote about Music For Listening‘s first single “High Notes,” a song that paired the 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. “High Notes” makes a vital connection between punk, post-punk and renegade country that countless others have done before but while pointing out an irony at the heart of any relationship that’s busted up — that you may be take the high road, not because you actually believe it’s the best thing or the adult thing to do but because you want to appear as though you’re not as petty as you might really be and feel and because on another level you want to make sure that you’re the only one who could get the last word. And it may be the most honest and heartfelt sentiment you’ll come across in a song in some time.
The album’s latest single “I Need An Angel” is reminiscent of The Smiths “This Charming Man” and “Hand In Glove” as it pairs gorgeous and shimmering guitar chords and a propulsive rhythm with swooning and lovelorn lyrics sung from the prospective of the achingly and desperately lonely and unloved. Certainly, if you’ve ever been alone on Valentine’s Day — or if you’re alone, now — it’s a sentiment that feels deeply familiar.