We’ve been fans of Katy Goodman since we first spotted her bouncing around on stage with Vivian Girls, the all-female peppy punk band she has been the bassist for since 2007. And while she remains a faithful member of VG, we have found ourselves even more smitten with her solo project, La Sera, which brings Goodman’s utterly charming, soft-focus vocals and knack for catchy pop songwriting to the forefront at long last.
Since one of the songs from her 2012 album Sees the Light (the tropical-tinged “Real Boy”) serves as the backdrop for our captivatingly cool Madewell swim video (seriously, it’s like a little mental vacation), we thought there was no better time for a catchup with Goodman to talk songwriting, spring rituals and poolside playlists.
How’d you come up with the name La Sera?
I was on tour in Italy with Vivian Girls while I was trying to come up with the name for my new solo project. We were at a restaurant when I saw a crazy pink tropical drink get sent to a table and I asked the waiter what it was called. He said “la rosa de la sera,” which means “the rose of the evening.” I thought it was a beautiful phrase, so I shortened it into a band name.
Sees the Light is, by all accounts, a breakup album; was there something cathartic about putting all those feelings into song?
Oh definitely, that was the main motivation behind writing the album. After singing all those songs a thousand times, I can safely say I am over that breakup.
Can you tell us a little bit about your songwriting process?
I tend to start off by myself in my bedroom with a guitar. Lately I’ve been experimenting with more unique chords and song structures. On Sees the Light, I generally wrote the music first and lyrics and melody second.
What are your plans this year for La Sera and/or Vivian Girls?
I plan on recording my next La Sera record this spring! I’m very excited. Also, I think Vivian Girls will be doing a few shows here and there…
What’s your favorite springtime ritual?
I live in LA, so it feels like springtime all year round. I would say my favorite daily routine is walking to the coffee shop every morning without my cell phone. It’s only 15 minutes, but it’s the perfect way to start every day. It almost feels like meditation.
Any favorite song that always gets you in the mood for sun-filled days?
Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.” It’s an instant mood-lifter.