As La Sera, Katy Goodman turned an aching heart into two marvelous, alluring yet bittersweet break-up albums (2011’s self-titled debut and 2012’s Sees the Light). On her latest, though, the former Vivian Girl is through crying. .
Hour of the Dawn sees Goodman waking up, throwing open the bedroom windows and welcoming the day.”I wanted the new La Sera record to sound like Lesley Gore fronting Black Flag,” Goodman says. “I didn’t want it to be another record of me sad, alone in my room. I wanted to have fun playing music and writing songs with a band.” To back her nimble basslines and enchanting vocals, Goodman assembled a new band helmed by guitarist Todd Wisenbaker.”We started playing faster, louder and more aggressively,” Goodman says. “I wanted to get that energy onto the album.”The forceful new La Sera line-up set about fleshing out Goodman’s melodies and lyrics into strapping rock anthems, debuting them to enthusiastic crowds on tour, and refining them with a new-found obsession to detail.After a year of perfecting their new material, La Sera was ready to commit it to tape. In the summer of 2013, the group decamped to a sweltering studio in East Los Angeles with engineer Joel Jerome and banged out the ten songs that would become Hour of the Dawn—an album that never walks, but runs, a collision of unleashed punk and ‘80s power-pop.”We wanted to make a classic American record,” Wisenbaker says. “The album was inspired by a lot of bands: The Pretenders, Minor Threat, X, The Smiths, The Cars and more.”
The sound that emerged from these disparate influences combined hardcore energy with tuneful harmony, as exemplified by opening track “Losing to the Dark.” Title track “Hour of the Dawn,” meanwhile, rides a steady groove towards a long horizon of sunrise. It’s the record’s thematic center: a final wave goodbye to a messy past and the beginning of a new day. In a burst of bright, immediate and jangly Smiths-inspired pop, “Fall in Place” captures La Sera at an emotional and musical crossroads.
Hour of the Dawn, as its title suggests, heralds the beginning of a radiant and energetic new chapter in La Sera’s evolution—the summit of Goodman’s steady ascent to rock and roll queendom.
Magic Trick is Tim Cohen (Fresh & Onlys, Black Fiction), Noelle Cahill, Alicia Vanden Heuvel (#poundsign#, Still Flyin), and James Kim (Kelley Stoltz Band, Court & Spark).
Empty Cellar Records is proud to announce the latest full-length album by Tim Cohen, The Glad Birth of Love. This is Tim Cohen's fourth album following his 2009 debut, The Two Sides of Tim Cohen (Empty Cellar), and two full-lengths (Laugh Tracks / Tim Cohen's Magic Trick) and one EP (Bad Blood) on New York's Captured Tracks label. Featuring guest appearances by John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees), Grace Cooper (The Sandwitches), Diego Gonzalez (The Dry Spells, Citay), and several other San Francisco musicians, The Glad Birth of Love is the first Tim Cohen album to not directly bear his name, but the name of his band, Magic Trick. Recorded in a tower at Tim Cohen's home this album marks a departure from his signature radio-ready song craft. The Glad Birth of Love is a 45 minute album composed of four epic long-form compositions saturated with Tim's uncanny pop sensibilities and vivid lyrical imagery. Transitioning seamlessly from sparse acoustic blues, to dense bass & oud ragas, to layered of lush vocal harmonies this album is a culmination of Tim's work to date.
"As a lyricist, Fresh & Onlys frontman Tim Cohen clearly evokes the early era of rock'n'roll he also explores in his music. His chord changes are simple without being rudimentary, his lyrics are romantic without being cheesy, and-- perhaps most notably-- his output is outrageously prolific without skirting inconsistency." --Pitchfork
Foxygen is the bi-coastal songwriting duo of Sam France (vocals, Olympia, Wash., 22 years old) and Jonathan Rado (guitar/keyboards, NYC, 22). They are the raw, de-Wes Andersonization of The Rolling Stones, Kinks, Velvets, Bowie, etc. that a whole mess of young people desperately need. They create a sometimes-impressionistic, sometimes-hyper-real portrait of sounds from specific places and times. Yet, it never comes across as anything but absolutely modern music. They bring the manic, freewheeling qualities of an artist like Ariel Pink to those aforementioned influences to make for one of the most refreshing listens of the year. They are the real deal and total savants. Their albums are love letters to vinyl collections. Jagjaguwar is proud to share with you Foxygen's bedroom masterpiece, Take the Kids Off Broadway.