La Sera, Skating Polly
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Kate Nash is a multi-instrumental recording artist from London. With a platinum selling album and a BRIT Award tucked firmly under her belt, Kate is known across both the music and fashion industries as a forthright songwriter, unabashed feminist and front row style icon.
Kate released her first single Caroline’s A Victim on vinyl back in 2007, before storming to chart success with her second hit, Foundations a few months later. To satiate demand, the launch date of her debut album Made of Bricks was brought forward by four weeks, skyrocketing straight to number one and crowning her ‘Best Female Artist’ at the 2008 BRIT Awards.
In the wake of Kate’s second album My Best Friend Is You, Kate set about using her influence to shift gender perceptions and inspire a new generation of female musicians, writers, producers and technicians, launching the Rock ‘N’ Roll for Girls After School Music Club. She also worked with young self-harming women at The Wish Centre in Harrow. Kate was also recently appointed Global Ambassador of the Because I am a Girl initiative by Plan USA, charged with empowering women and girls in developing countries.
Making her musical comeback in 2012 with Under-Estimate the Girl – a song written and recorded in 24 hours – Kate stepped away from the piano previously underpinning her songs, and took to the bass guitar. The track sparked controversy on a global scale and notoriously opened London Fashion Week’s Felder Felder show for the spring/summer 2013 season, marking a significant change in direction for Kate.
Layering her profile with fashion, acting and writing gigs, the last three years have seen Kate star in feature films such as Syrup, Greetings from Tim Buckley and Powder Room, DJ at London and New York Fashion Week’s most exclusive events (including for Vogue and PPQ), as well as writing with Willow Smith and moonlighting as Music Editor for breakthrough London-based fashion magazine, PHOENIX.
This has all built up to the highly anticipated launch of Girl Talk earlier this year, Kate’s third album. Produced with Grammy Award winning, Tom Biller at the infamous Paramour Mansion in LA, Kate has described the work as her best to date, an emotional purge and a mission statement for women the world over.
Kate is currently on a global tour with her all-girl band.
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.
Born from an impromptu jam at a Halloween party in 2009, Skating Polly is a punk/rock/pop duo made up of stepsisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse. On their forthcoming sophomore album Lost Wonderfuls (produced by Exene Cervenka and mixed by Flaming Lips drummer Kliph Scurlock), the Oklahoma City-based band reveals itself as a wildly vital force in the resurrection and reinvention of classic punk rock.
Raised on ‘70s punk and early-‘90s alt-rock, Mayo (age 12) and Bighorse (17) mine inspiration from artists as disparate as Johnny Cash, The Ramones, NWA, Nirvana, and Bikini Kill and saturate their own songs with a raw energy reminiscent of their musical heroes. Skating Polly takes a minimalist approach to songwriting, with the two largely self-taught musicians (Bighorse plays guitar, Mayo plays a guitar/bass hybrid called a basitar, and both girls play drums and piano) crafting super-catchy melodies mainly by “messing around with our instruments and figuring out how to make cool noises,” according to Bighorse. But despite their stripped-down aesthetic, each track on Lost Wonderfuls retains a rich emotionalism that’s at turns brutally in-your-face, gut-wrenchingly tender, and irresistibly fun.
Along with earning the adoration of Cervenka (whom they befriended after attending one of the X singer’s 2010 solo shows and playing their demos on a cell phone), Skating Polly has found fans in Rosanne Cash and Sean Lennon, taken the stage with punk legends like Mike Watt, and opened up for such indie heavy-hitters as Deerhoof and Band of Horses. Tapping Mayo’s dad as their tour manager, the stepsisters typically hit the road with their entire family and optimize their travel time by making up songs on their ukulele, having secret conversations in sign language, and—most recently—studying Mandarin Chinese in hopes of touring in China within the next year.
With aspirations of “bringing back riot grrrl,” both Mayo and Bighorse are intent on ignoring what’s fashionable and staying true to their passion for challenging music with long-lasting appeal. “The musicians we’re most inspired by are the ones who keep on going and going, who devote their entire lives to coming up with new and different stuff,” says Mayo. “A lot of times at our shows people will come up to us and tell us, ‘Keep on doing what you’re doing, don’t ever stop’ and we’re just like, ‘Yeah—we weren’t planning on ever stopping.”
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