Articles tagged with Vivian Girls

La Sera – “Break My Heart”

La Sera
La Sera, the solo project of Vivian Girls member Katy Goodman, swung through Vanouver on Saturday. It was an excellent show, which I reviewed for the Georgia Straight.

Below, listen to “Break My Heart” from her recent La Sera Sees the Light. It’s not the best song from the album, but it’s still a winner.

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La Sera – “Please Be My Third Eye”

La Sera
These days, there seems to be a trend of indie pop musicians toning down the reverb and girl group influences in favour a slightly cleaner, more straightforward sound.

La Sera‘s “Please Be My Third Eye” (from her forthcoming Sees the Light LP, due March 27 through Hardly Art) reflects that shift. It’s an upbeat stomper that is hardly clean, but there’s not the same level of swampy reverb as we used to hear from Vivian Girls-related projects. Nicely played, Kickball Katy.

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He’ll never hold me in his arms again

Duvet dresses
Vivian Girls are back. But did they ever really go away? Their last album came out just a year and a half ago, but their abundant side projects made it seem like the members had put the band on the back burner. Apparently not. Go to Exclaim! to read my story about the trio’s new album, Share the Joy, due out on April 12.

Here’s the new single “I Heard You Say.” It manages to upbeat while still delving into the dark and dirge-y terrain that the band explored on 2009′s Everything Goes Wrong. It’s a little less distorted than Vivian Girls’ usual fuzzy fare, with a faint whiff of spaghetti western creepiness.

MP3: “I Heard You Say”
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Toil away, working every day

It's French for The Sera
2011 is shaping up to be a big year for Vivian Girls. Not only do they have an album of their own coming out, but frontwoman Cassie Ramone will be releasing a LP with the Babies and bassist Kickball Katy (Katy Goodman) will be doing the same with her project La Sera. Here’s another tune from the latter called “Devils Hearts Grow Gold.” (I know, the missing apostrophe bugs me too). In some ways it sounds a lot like Vivian Girls, with its lovely girl group harmonies and instantly-hummable melodies. It’s a lot gentler than most of that band’s output, however, with its steadily plodding rhythm, strummed acoustic guitar and tinkling main riff.

By the way, for those of you who don’t parle Français, La Sera is French for “The Sera.” (Thanks, Chris.)

MP3: “Devils Hearts Grow Gold”
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Took me apart, put me back together

Crappy Photoshop press shot
This blog has an about page now. Neat!

Here’s a song from the Babies, the new project from lead Vivian Girl Cassie Ramone. Despite the terrible band name, this is a promising-sounding project, so be sure to keep an eye out for the debut album, due out in February. The track is called “Run Me Over.” You know how it is with these Vivian Girls offshoots: fuzzy guitars, lots of reverb, poppy melodies. This one tones down the usual girl group influences, replacing them with a more aggressive, punkish attack. Check it below.

MP3: “Run Me Over”
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I’ll just cry forever

Like I said, milkshake tattoo
Katy Goodman (aka Kickball Katy) is a woman with a milkshake tattoo on her arm (see the picture to the right), so it’s no surprise that she’s got a penchant for vintage girl group pop. Here’s “Never Come Around,” which is the A-side of her new single as La Sera. This one is a little softer than her work with Vivian Girls, but the massive Phil Spector-style production means that it’s equally fantastic. In fact, it sounds a hell of a lot like the solo work of her former bandmate, Frankie Rose.

Thanks to Gorilla vs. Bear for this. Apparently the song will appear on a full-length, coming out in 2011. The 7″ is due out November 16 via Hardly Art, and comes backed with a track called “Behind Your Eyes.”

MP3: “Never Come Around”
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I must have done something wrong

Not running anywhere, apparently
Dear Vivian Girls,

You ladies have lots of great songs, but could you please play “Where Do You Run To” live? I know that the song was written by Frankie Rose, who isn’t in the band anymore, but I doubt that most audience members would even notice. And that song is such a fucking jam! Surf guitar licks, shoegaze fuzz and girl group hooks make me happy.



PS: Read my review of Vivian Girls’ recent “Where Do You Run To”-less show at the Biltmore over at Exclaim!.

PPS: Click below to download “He’s Gone,” the group’s lovely new Chantels cover. It’s mostly a cappella, and appears as the B-side to the band’s new “My Love Will Follow Me” single, due out this month via Wild World.

MP3: “He’s Gone”
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Vivian Girls repeat history

Vivian Girls - Everything Goes Wrong
At 36 minutes, Everything Goes Wrong is over 50% longer than Vivian Girls‘ self-titled debut from last year. Given that this is a standard-length LP, it would be fair to expect the Brooklyn trio to branch out a little and show that there’s more to them than just another fuzz pop band with hummable melodies and scuzzy production.

Everything Goes Wrong, however, makes no attempt to distinguish itself from the pack, and its 13 songs offer almost nothing in the way of variation. For some listeners, this will come as a disappointment, but that’s probably unfair. After all, this is more of the same quality material that earned the band so much recognition in the first place. “Can’t Get Over You” is a dreamy, distorted doo-wop throwback, while lead single “When I’m Gone” buries its sugary harmonies in atmospheric reverb.

mp3: “When I’m Gone”

The most immediately obvious thing that distinguishes the album from its predecessor is its track lengths; unlike the band’s previous bite-sized offerings, Everything Goes Wrong contains two tracks that clock in at over four minutes. Still, none of the tracks drag, so it doesn’t make much of an impact on the album’s overall effect. Rather, the most significant difference here is that the songs sound more like straight-forward punk, with barreling tempos and thundering drums. The lyrics are fittingly venomous, with “Walking Alone at Night” sneering ,”What do I care? / You were just a waste of my time.” Only closing track “Before I Start to Cry” eases back on the full-throttle assault, its slow-burning tempo setting the tone for its heartbroken tale of lost love.

It’s unlikely to win any new fans, but it isn’t trying to. Although it won’t convince any skeptics, Everything Goes Wrong offers more of what made Vivian Girls one of last year’s breakthrough albums.

It’s out now via In the Red.
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