About a month ago I saw Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls at SXSW, performing with her band La Sera. She was just the cutest, her bubbling personality tempering the stone-cold delivery on many of her songs. Even when her amp caught fire she was still cheerful, genially chatting up the crowd while rerouting her wires.
Whether live or on record, Goodman’s songs have a distinct energy, the ghost of girl-group sweetness pumped through the leader of the pack’s motorcycle engine. On her latest record, Sees the Light, the singles best showcase Goodman’s leather and lace make-up.
“Break My Heart” is catchy as hell, and as with all the best pop songs you’ll be singing along by the end. Goodman uses her voice to smooth over the blistering chug of “Please Be My Third Eye”, keeping its guts from spilling out. “Drive On” is dark and pretty, and the guitars on “How Far We’ve Come” have a sludgy grind. Bringing the mood up are the somewhat island-leaning “Real Boy” and the country overtones of “I’m Alone”.
At only thirty or so minutes long, Sees the Light lends itself to being listened to on repeat, something I suggest as the days get longer and the promise of summer love starts to pique.