Two more garage pop tunes about boys and heartbreak from Denver's The Manxx. Front-girl Sara must fall in and out of love once a month because according to my calculations, “Hard Lessons” is the 179th song she's written about getting jilted. Although the sound is still lo-fi, the production on this single is a step above The Manxx's previous releases. The 45 is a great-looking purple-mud-colored pressing that lives up to the sonic potential of 45 RPM, with really low bass and a clear high end. It comes with a download code for a slightly less amazing sounding digital copy. The Manxx keeps threatening to come down to Albuquerque—here's hoping it does!
La Sera is the solo project of Vivian Girl Katy Goodman. Not being familiar with Vivian Girls' music or the first La Sera release, I approached Sees The Light cold. Upon hitting play, my chick immediately remarked, “Nice and mellow,” which fairly sums up the slightly melancholy sound of this album. The standout feature is Goodman's beautiful voice, singing about heartbreak, loneliness and not much else. Many of the songs are rich with multilayered guitars, one playing simple three-chord rock and roll, another adding melodic guitar hooks, and one more occasionally throwing some tranquilized noodling on top. Uplifting breakup music for grown-ups.