The break-up album is nothing new—this past year was, after all, dominated by Adele’s ode to a failed relationship—but La Sera’s take on it may be. “It’s definitely not an angry break-up album—it’s a happy break-up album!” says singer-songwriter Katy Goodman.
The one-woman band’s sophomore album, Sees the Light, is made up of ten tracks showcasing Goodman’s butter-smooth vocals and penchant for blending ‘60s girl group harmonies with grittier guitar lines, and lyrics about accepting that life may be better solo. Song titles hint at the subject—“Love That’s Gone” and “Don’t Stay”—and the sweet-but-searing lyrics get to the heart of the matter; on the slow-building, lilting “It’s Over Now,” Goodman delivers the all-too-true tell-off, “I throw my hands up in the air because it’s over now. You’ll feel better once we’re not together because it’s over now.” As Goodman explains, “It’s about how sometimes when you break up, it’s for the best…well, maybe not both people. But it’s acknowledging the fact that sometimes people break up, and it’s OK. It seems like the end of the world, but it’s not.”
Although it’s been a while since Goodman first penned the songs from her Los Angeles apartment, even she still feels their emotional impact. “The first song on the new album, every time we play it I feel like crying. This is way more personal than what I’ve done [in the past], and it still bothers me—which is why we generally play it last, because it kind of makes me really sad. I don’t get crazy emotional, but I will tell you I cried one time at band practice playing that song,” admits Goodman. But while she’s managed to control her emotions while playing the new album live, there are some things that Goodman is quickly realizing she can’t control. “Sometimes I lose my voice—it’s really scary,” she says. “The last day of SXSW I sounded like Phoebe on Friends when she sang ‘Smelly Cat’ with a cold! But it was cool—no one really noticed. It’s hard to sing your heart out night after night.” With an album as good as Sees the Light, however, it is easy to listen to it on repeat