Surrounded by a gaggle of cats and dogs, an impressive collection of vintage guitars, and a comprehensive library of books on everything from astrophysics to philosophy, bass player Katy Goodman and guitarist Todd Wisenbaker are a picture of newlywed bliss in their cozy Silverlake home. You can’t blame the young couple behind La Sera (formerly Goodman’s solo project) for giving off that glow of happiness– between their recent wedding and the impending release of La Sera’s fourth album Music For Listening to Music To, Goodman and Wisenbaker have plenty of reason to be excited.
No longer a solo effort of Goodman’s creation, La Sera has become a brainchild for Goodman and her writing partner/guitarist/husband. “On the first two records, it was just me writing songs and then I would work with a producer,” says Goodman.… “Then the third record was full band [and] we wrote and recorded all the songs together as a band. This record was just me and Todd writing songs and then recording them, and I feel like it’s the most direct songs. Like, catchy direct. We’re really proud of it.”
Music For Listening to Music To marks a creative and sonic shift for the now duo of La Sera. There’s a dusty sheen of country flair coating every note of the album that adds a richness to Goodman’s signature girl-group vocals.
“It’s my favorite [La Sera record],” says Goodman.“It’s the most… cohesive. I think the songs are better than ever before [and] it sounds better. It’s the first [record] that’s analog, and it just sounds so much more like a warm, old, record that you would get when you were growing up.”
Thats where songwriter/producer extraordinaire Ryan Adams comes into the equation. Adams, who produced Jenny Lewis’s last record, was introduced to Wisenbaker at the behest of Lewis (who Wisenbaker had toured with as Jenny and Johnny). That friendship naturally blossomed into a creative team-up when they asked Adams to come aboard as a producer.
“[Adams] had some rules,” says Wisenbaker, first and foremost of which was no harmonies for Goodman. “My old sound was kind of dependent on harmonies,” Goodman admits. “[Ryan] liked the lyrics a lot and he wanted people to hear them…he was like ‘if you have too many harmonies people aren’t going to listen to what you’re saying, they’re just gonna hear the harmony.’”
The resulting live-recorded, fully analog album is an amalgam of Goodman’s Brill Building pop vocals, Wisenbaker’s affinity for the Smiths (look no further than the Morrissey autograph tattooed on his arm), and Adams’ perpetual love of Americana and folk. Music For Listening to Music To is at its most basic core an album about love, whether it’s the love for your favorite bands or your bandmate.
Catch La Sera at The Forcefield Anniversary show at the Echoplex on Saturday, March 12th. For tickets, click here.