Showing posts with label lights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lights. Show all posts

Sunday, October 29, 2017

video review: 'skin & earth' by lights

Yes, I know this is very much late, but honestly, I didn't have much to say on this... outside of 'Savage', kind of an underwhelming record.

But now onto something more recent... whoo boy, this'll be fun, stay tuned!

album review: 'skin & earth' by lights

So I'll be the first to admit I've been really hard on Lights in the past, the Canadian indie synthpop artist who has fluttered around the edges of the mainstream for the past few years now, especially in Canada. And for me it can feel awkward because I keep getting the feeling that I should like her work more than I do. The Listening was a slice of bubbly, exuberant electro-pop, Siberia was moody and experimental as it fused in dubstep, and Little Machines split the difference between the styles... and yet I'd struggle to say that outside of isolated moments that these records just never quite connected for me. The framing of the writing and Lights' delivery never quite meshed with the synth tones she chose, and in years where there was an abundance of artists pursuing similar sounds - particularly CHVRCHES - I never thought her material stood out.

But I've covered a lot less synthpop in the past year - hell, in 2017 I've barely covered the genre at all - and so maybe without my own personal saturation I'd find something distinct and special on this project, which Lights herself has described as her most carefree and fierce record to date. Okay, I'm in the mood for some pop like this in an increasingly dour year, what did we get?

Friday, September 26, 2014

video review: 'little machines' by lights

Man, I wish this record was better. I do like Lights, but this album didn't really stand out.

Okay, next up is (finally) Opeth. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

album review: 'little machines' by lights

The more I think about it, the more I'm surprised I didn't really get into Lights when I was at university.

I mean, at first glimpse she was the sort of act I'd typically like. Indie pop with a focus on melody, Lights sparked a lot of early comparisons with Owl City with the release of her first album The Listening in 2009, mostly for her keyboard-driven catchiness, her usage of autotune to augment the synthetic sound, her occasional song related to faith, and her lyrics that toed the line between twee and outright adolescent. In fact, it was probably that last part that kept me keeping some amount of distance - her voice had more presence and power than Owl City's, but her lyrics never quite approached the same level of cleverness that occasionally saved Owl City. And to go by that first album, it'd be very easy - and somewhat unfair - to throw the Manic Pixie Dream Girl label on Lights - emphasis on 'girl' because with songs like 'Pretend' there was a certain 'regression to childhood' tendency that had some nuance but rubbed me the wrong way, even if the ultimate message of her album did imply maturity was the natural end goal.

Well, apparently Lights wasn't a fan of those particular comparisons, because most of the cutesy image went out the window for her sophomore release Siberia, at least in terms of her instrumentation. The soft, fluttering keyboards and effects were jettisoned in favour of heavy, icy dubstep-inspired synthpop, which gave the album a darker, grittier feel - and yet for some reason, it didn't really carry over into the lyrics or Lights' presentation. If anything, despite Lights' admittedly solid grasp of interesting poetry, the subject matter felt a little more mundane and pop-friendly, lacking some of the nuance that had characterized her previous work. On top of that, Siberia has not exactly aged well - while it might have preceded the dubstep-flavour that would come into prominence in 2012, it feels very much of its time in terms of mix balance and production, and as someone who has never really been a fan of the upper-to-midrange pop brand of dubstep, it didn't always work for me.

So I have to be honest, I had no idea what to expect with Lights' newest album 'Little Machines', but I was definitely curious to find out, in addition to supporting another promising and interesting Canadian artist. So I checked out the album: what did I get?