Frankie Rose & La Sera: The Vivian Girls Churn Out the Melodic Solo

Between Frankie Rose and Katy Goodman’s solo project, La Sera, O.G. Spector-worshippers Vivian Girls have really saturated the scene with melodic, lo-fi garage and Shangri-La pop groove. Spawning the solo and collaborative dabbling of Rose and Goodman, both of whom are putting out new albums in the next month or so, you do have to wonder how many more albums Vivian Girls have left before the sound is completely exhausted.

Moving in a proactive manner, the starry-eyed nuances often associated with this sound are seeming to fall by the wayside. Rose, in particular, seems much less enchanted with sounding enchanted, taking on a cleaner edge and hardening the otherwise softness of her music. You could even cite The Smiths or The Cure as a basis for Interstellar, her upcoming new album. There’s jangling riffs and synthesizers, electro-tinged percussion. Certainly a throwback sound, but now twenty-years later than her last throwback sound.

Frankie Rose - Gospel/Grace from Slumberland Records on Vimeo.

As for Goodman, La Sera doesn’t sound as far removed from its Vivian Girls entanglements, though the two new singles from La Sera’s upcoming album, Sees The Light, bring more post-punk/New Wave fuzz into the conversation.

La Sera - Please Be My Third Eye from Hardly Art on Vimeo.

All info comes courtesy of Force Field PR and Hardly Art.

The Vivian Girls’ 2011 release, Share The Joy, was reviewed at Kicking Against The Pricks. Frankie Rose & The Outs self-titled debut was reviewed at No Ripcord.

Frankie Rose announces Spring tour in support of Interstellar, plus new music video 

VIDEO: "Gospel / Grace" -

STREAM: Frankie Rose -
Interstellar -

We were all knocked out by the Frankie Rose and the Outs album from 2010, the effortlessness of its gorgeous girl-pop mantras, the intimate immensity of its Spector-esque walls of reverb, the beauty of a song sung sweetly over the most graceful two-chord vamps. But are you ready for the new Frankie Rose? - her transformation into a wholly other kind of pop, the reverie and revelation of Interstellar, an album that floats free of its maker's history - time spent with Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Stilts, and creator of one of the most breathlessly compelling girl-pop albums of the past few years - and offers the listener something strangely other, as alien as it is familiar, as compelling as it is enchanting.

Talking with Frankie about the record, it's clear she was itching for a new start. The first big indication - production by Le Chev, remixer supreme (for Lemonade, Narcisse, Passion Pit, and Frankie's own "Candy"), an ensemble member of Fischerspooner, etc. "
We recorded the record in a private studio dubbed The Thermometer Factory in Park Slope. I wanted this record to be totally different and in so doing I knew I had to work with someone who would lend fresh ideas and know how to make sounds that I wouldn't know how to make. I wanted to make a particular record and I knew Le Chev would be the one who could help me do it."

So, out with the reverb of the Frankie Rose and the Outs, and in with something altogether more glam, glittering, shivering. On
Interstellar Frankie takes the lessons learned with her debut album - like reverb as the holy route to pop-grandeur, scaling a wall of teenage tears - fully digests, and transfers those skills into the brave new world mapped out by ten new songs. In its place is the confident swagger of a singer and auteur fully aware of how to build the simplest of pop moves into aching, full-blown melodramas, how to grab hold of an emotion and ride its darker waves. "I always have a big picture in mind," Frankie reflects. "I knew I wanted a HUGE sounding record. Big highs, big lows, and clean. There is no fuzz on this record. I knew I wanted to make a streamlined, spacious record with big choruses that sometimes referenced 80s pop." But that referencing never swamps the melodies: this record isn't a retro trip. If anything, it liberates sounds familiar from that decade and gives them new context, breathes life into clay golems of sound that too often become basic, pre-set triggers.

Interstellar, Frankie Rose goes epic, goes widescreen. "Had We Had It" spins the sweetest sugar from chords that ascend into the firmament, a heavenly, palatial blur. "Gospel / Grace" rumbles with passion, a New Order-esque one-finger guitar figure leading the listener into the choral depths mapped by the chorus. "Apples For The Sun" is breathtaking, with Frankie singing out across a lone piano, before a glorious web of voice and organ pirouettes into the air, an arbor of pleasure connecting the verse with its instrumental shadow, a coda that slowly slips from your view, before making the briefest, most tantalizing of returns. A lot of Interstellar seems to be about disappearing into, or finding and reveling in, this kind of imaginary zone, something Rose confirms: "The whole record is about dreaming of some 'other' place."

And as you drift into the heartbreaking "The Fall," which floats out to sea on a lunar-aquatic cello riff that's pure Arthur Russell, you're ready to conquer those other places, too, to let Frankie Rose guide you out of the album's spell and land you back in the sensual world, slightly altered, adrift and in awe. How does it feel to feel? With
Interstellar, your emotions come out so alive, your only escape is to dive right back in.

Tue-Feb-21 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory (Album Release Show - tix) *
Thu-Apr-05 Philadelphia, PA Northstar Bar *
Fri-Apr-06 Arlington, VA Artisphere / Chickfactor 2012: For The Love of Pop!
Sat-Apr-07 Baltimore, MD Golden West *
Sun-Apr-08 Richmond, VA Strange Matter *
Mon-Apr-09 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506 *
Tue-Apr-10 Atlanta, GA 529 *
Fri-Apr-13 Dallas, TX Club Dada *
Sat-Apr-14 Austin, TX Red 7 *
Mon-Apr-16 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room *
Wed-Apr-18 San Diego, CA Soda Bar *
Thu-Apr-19 Los Angeles, CA The Satellite *
Fri-Apr-20 Santa Cruz, CA Crepe Place *
Sat-Apr-21 San Francisco, CA Brick and Mortar Music Hall *
Mon-Apr-23 Portland, OR East End *
Tue-Apr-24 Vancouver, BC The Biltmore *
Wed-Apr-25 Seattle, WA Barboza *
Thu-Apr-26 Missoula, MT The Badlander *
Sat-Apr-28 Fargo, ND The Aquarium *
Sun-Apr-29 Minneapolis, MN 7th St Entry *
Mon-Apr-30 Chicago, IL Township *
Tue-May-01 Detroit, MI Magic Stick *
Wed-May-02 Toronto, ON The Shop under Parts and Labor *
Thu-May-03 Albany, NY Valentine's *

* = w/ DIVE

Frankie Rose

Know Me single
(Slumberland / Memphis Industries)
Street Date: Jan. 17, 2012

Frankie Rose

(Slumberland / Memphis Industries)
Street Date: Feb. 21, 2012 (US) / Mar. 19, 2012 (UK)

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La Sera shares new track, announces tour dates 
New album, Sees The Light, out March 27 on Hardly Art

MP3: "Break My Heart" -

La Sera photo by Magda Wosinska
La Sera's Sees The Light follows 2011's masterful self-titled debut with ten new tracks of peppy break-up pop brimming with defiance and bitter sweetness. On album opener "Love That's Gone," the vocals and drumbeat linger for seconds, swaying in the wind while the guitar cuts through, charming you, pulling you by your shirt and telling you that it is time to move on. This is a break-up album for the best kinds of break-ups. There's a lightness of touch, too, that surround the harmonies throughout and makes one yearn for the days of Donna Lynn, Julie Ruin and The Shirelles. But before you can settle into your seat, La Sera delivers a one-two punch - a rip of rolling snare and sending you speeding off in a fast car. Seize the light.

La Sera's lyrics are smart but not heavy; phantasmal, like Daniel Johnston attending church every week of his teenage life, but with a bigger sophistication and a shiny, polished fidelity. Lead single "Please Be My Third Eye" buzzes with an intensity and beauty rarely heard outside the first three Vivian Girls albums. (Not so surprising: La Sera IS Katy Goodman IS one-third of Vivian Girls.) "I Can't Keep You In My Mind" is Shop Assistants great - just a genius straightforward refrain and sympathetic guitars to play it through.

Where the first La Sera album was super-dreamy in its layered vocals,
Sees The Light is more direct, more aggressive; almost a soundtrack to a lost drive-in movie classic. This is not an album for half-hearted partakers in the heartache scene: just an all-consuming love for punk as pop and pop as punk. Songs such as "Don't Stay" soar away into the stratosphere, solemn and possessed of singular beauty. "Real Boy" is playfully driven in comparison: like being whisked away to a tropical island, while "Drive On" is tear-laden and full of hidden menace like a David Lynch film.Sees The Light was recorded by Rob Barbato (Darker My Love, the Fall) in beautiful and hazy California.


03/03 Seattle, WA The Rendezvous *
03/04 Portland, OR Holocene *
03/06 Sacramento, CA Bows and Arrows *
03/07 San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Stop *
03/08 Los Angeles, CA The Satellite *
03/10 San Diego, CA Irenic *
03/11 Phoenix, AZ Rhythm Room *
03/12 Santa Fe, NM Santa Fe Sol Live *
03/14 - 03/17 Austin, TX SXSW

* = w/ Cold Showers

La Sera
Sees The Light
(Hardly Art)
Street Date: March 27, 2012

Formats: CD / LP / Digital


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Twitter -!/iamkatygoodman
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