Vivian Girls reunited at Katy & Todd’s wedding after La Sera made a new LP w/ Ryan Adams, which led to his ‘1989’ cover
photo: La Sera at Baby's All Right in 2014 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Former Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman announced the release of her fourth La Sera LP, Music for Listening to Music To, which will be out next March via Polyvinyl. The album was produced by Ryan Adams.
He says his goal while producing the LP was to explore Katy's range as a singer and bring out a side of La Sera that is different from the previous albums. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he explains, "Records that I love vocally, there's an aspect where you get a feeling the singer is unaware of themselves and maybe in another place. I felt like she was making great records, but I wasn't sure she was getting all the way there, and she was really game for it."
The article says the album doesn't abandon La Sera's '60s girl group influences or their reverb-heavy sound, but it adds in a "distinctly Eighties vibe, with cleanly picked, arpeggiated guitar lines and moments of country twang." Katy and Ryan said The Smiths are a big influence here too. This album also marks the first time that guitarist Todd Wisenbaker--who recently married Katy Goodman--is considered a "full collaborator" and vocalist for a La Sera album. (He did previously play guitar on the album Hour of the Dawn though.)
Another thing that the Rolling Stone article points out is that Ryan Adams' cover of Taylor Swift's 1989 album actually came into fruition during the La Sera sessions. Ryan and Todd were jamming one night after the record was done, and during that jam is when they came up with the idea to cover the album. "We did three songs that first night, just loosely jamming, and [Ryan] tweeted about it, and it went berserko," Todd said. "The next day we're like, 'Oh, God, we actually have to do this.' Not that we wouldn't have done it well before, but actually, people are going to hear this."
Ryan also mentions in the interview that, "...if it wasn't for [the La Sera] record, the 1989 record would have never happened, and then all of these new friends that I've made that are a huge part of my life wouldn't have happened."
In an interview with The Guardian , Ryan said that his interest in Taylor Swift's music began after listening to her song "White Horse" and likened Taylor to Shakespeare:
He compares the exercise of working through 1989's songs to "being in Ghostbusters or something, and then all of a sudden I have to go do Shakespeare". As in, his material is the goofy franchise, hers is the oeuvre of the greatest writer that ever lived.
In related news, the now-defunct Vivian Girls played a one-off reunion at Katy and Todd's wedding last week. Watch a video of them playing "Tell The World" at the wedding, with the trailer for La Sera's upcoming album, below...