Rule #17 of survival in the DIY-ish indie-rock circuit: always
stay busy. Case in point: former Bostonian "Kickball" Katy Goodman, bassist/vocalist of the unruly Vivian Girls. With her primary gig in temporary recess, she took to the sparkling new La Sera. Goodman's latest thing doesn't sound exactly like her old thing - contrast La Sera's delightfully tranquil '50s/'60s-ish indie pop with the Girls' don't-give-a-shit-if-you-don't-like-us garage punk - but it's not a mindboggling stretch. Imagine honeyed reverb meeting genial croon meeting twangy, nostalgic guitar meeting more reverb and you've got a handle on the basics. La Sera dream of a stronger, more loving world to die in, with a sound so precious and angelic that it should score the montage of your life that you see right before you go. But though the glimmer is intoxicating, there isn't much beyond that. Some melodies stick, but Goodman is so swathed in reverb that her words grow difficult to understand, and entire songs slip into one another. This music is more about ambiance, with the luscious haze recalling a mood rather than shaping something distinctive. Has anything ever been so perfectly gorgeous and perfectly inconsequential all at once?