Katy Goodman always represented the softer side of Vivian Girls. While Cassie Ramone provided the bleating vocals and thrashy guitars reminiscent of rusting chainsaws, Goodman was responsible for the pop element of the group, with her melodic basslines and airy high harmonies drenched in reverb. What’s made Vivian Girls one of the more exciting bands of the past few years is their ability to blend the two disparate parts, but what happens when one of the elements is brought into the spotlight to stand on its own?
Recorded with Seattle producer and filmmaker Brady Hall, Goodman steps from side stage and into center with “Never Come Around,” the debut single from La Sera. Carried along by booming, Phil Spector-like drums, “Never Come Around” finds Goodman softly harmonizing with herself, her lyrics of pining over a love who barely shows their face. Barely rising above the Wall of Sound, it sounds as if she’s afraid that if she raises her voice, her lover will leave for good, muffling her plea under the bright jangle in order to hide her broken heart.
With such infectious pop instrumentation leading the charge, it’s likely that Goodman could be singing about virtually anything, and we’d all still be hypnotized by her charm. Now would probably be a good time for her to insert subliminal messages in her songs and force us all to do her bidding. Though I personally may not need to be hypnotized to sign up for that job.
MP3: La Sera – “Never Come Around”