Lights latest album Siberia, has just been certified gold in her homeland Canada and follows performing at SXSW and with fellow Canadian Deadmau5 at the Juno Awards.
When Lights first hit the music scene in 2008, she was just a songwriter with a synth and a dream. This admirable self-reliance is rare in pop—in fact, Lights, signed a publishing deal at 16 and began writing songs for other artists—but after her 2008 self-titled debut EP (precocious enough to earn her a best new artist Juno) and gold-selling full-length follow-up The Listening, Lights was ready to open herself up to collaborations on her unexpectedly experimental album Siberia.
She also opened up her sound with grimy beats and sonic minimalism. This dirtier direction came from collaborating with Holy Fuck, a fellow Juno-winning, electronic influenced Canadian act who she met when both played the dance stage at last year’s Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK. Impressed by their “grime and grit,” she decided to see what might happen when she infused her pop sensibilities with their experimental tendencies.
Lyrically, the album is light years from her last, which was written when the singer, who spent much of her childhood travelling to places like the Philippines and Jamaica with her missionary parents, had left the nest and landed in Toronto. The dividend from her early award-winning success—not to mention her sprawling online footprint which includes nearly one million Facebook fans and over a quarter-million Twitter followers, not to mention a cult fanbase amongst the Comic-Con set—is her current artistic freedom.
Her up-for-anything experimentations with Holy Fuck produced an astoundingly eclectic album that belies its snow white title. Siberia‘s beats skitter and thwack, the retro electronics fire like decomposing lasers and the analog synths dirty up her trademark pretty melodies, propelling Lights’ emotion-soaked but still cute croon into her sprawling, imperfect new sound. Call it anti-electro, dream-step or perhaps even grit-pop. Just rest assured that it’s the same bright Lights; she’s just built herself a bigger city. Don’t miss Lights headline shows for 2012:
- Mon 02 Birmingham O2 Academy 2
- Tues 03 Manchester Academy 2
- Wed 04 Glasgow Arches
- Thurs 05 Sheffield Corporation
- Fri 06 Cardiff University
- Thurs 27 London Electric Ballroom
- The Hop Farm Music Festival, Kent, UK on July 1st
- Xnoizz Flevofestival at Apeldoorn, Netherlands on August 17th