Lights shines towards a new sound
Lights, born Valerie Anne Poxleitner, has been a Canadian music mainstay since releasing her 2009 gold-selling album, The Listening. Maintaining a strong presence, Lights has released her second album, Siberia, and is breaking the rules and changing her sound with new influences.
As a female, it can be tough to be taken seriously in the music industry. However, Lights is breaking the boundaries.
“People see a girl with a pretty face and want to assume that she’s all manufactured and made up,” says Lights. “You just got to go in there like sex doesn’t matter.”
Known for her original ‘intergalactic’ electro-rock sound from her first record, Lights has grown out of that into a different sound, while still remaining original.
With help from Canadian talents Holy F*ck and Shad, she’s made a raw and grittier album than her last. Though dubstep-infused, Lights says it’s not quite within that genre.
“The only kind of blatant dubstep part is a breakdown in a song called ‘Fourth Dimension,’ or it’s just kind of a tribute to the genre because
of how much it inspired me,” she says.
“I don’t think I would ever claim to make dubstep, and I don’t think I ever will but I think that dubstep has left its mark on me.”
The new album was created differently than anything she’s done before. She got together with Toronto’s Holy F*ck, and “jammed” for about an hour and a half. It was “raw, imperfect, [and] unruly,” she says.
Out of that jam session came the bed tracks for ‘Everybody Breaks a Glass’ and title track ‘Siberia.’ The last nine minutes of that session became ‘Day One’, an instrumental at the end of the record.
“It was just kind of funny to see actual tracks that were used that were actually just
live tracks that were made from jamming. I’ve never seen electronic [music] done that way, it was kind of cool,” says Lights.
She says it was hard to break out of the reputation of her first record, with fans expecting to hear the same sound, but describes her new release as a happier album.
“This record is actually a really happy record. It came from a place of confidence … it came from a completely different place than The Listening, which is kind of a sad, self-discovery sort of album.”
As for the style change, Lights says this is part of growing as an artist.
“It’s very important in music to establish in the beginning, for yourself and your fans that you’re always going to make music that you love and that represents what you are at the time.”
Lights plays MacEwan Hall on Nov. 18.