11.4.2009

Music Review: LIGHTS debut album, The Listening

Music is not a frequent topic here at ONCE UPON A GEEK, however, the artist known as “LIGHTS” is a fellow geek and her music is definitely worth talking about.  She is a 22 year old up-and-coming musician who describes herself as, “a fairly small-sized, Canadian girl who makes intergalactic-electro music”.  Her style is very much pop music, with a heavy influence from electronica (she calls her music “electro-pop”).  Typically pop music turns me off, but her stuff really grabbed me.

LIGHTS has a fair amount of geek cred.  She’s an avid gamer, particularly World of Warcraft, and a fan of science fiction.  She states that her look is inspired by Laura Croft and Wonder Woman.  Check out her web site for several issues of a sci-fi motion-comic called “Audio Quest: A Captain Lights Adventure“.   “Audio Quest” has aired on MTV and MTV.com.

I’d never heard of LIGHTS until a few weeks ago when someone from Warner Bros Records contacted me suggesting that as a fellow geek I might enjoy her music.  They were kind enough to send me her debut album, The Listening, which I’ve really enjoyed.  Again, I’m not a pop music kind of guy, but this stuff appeals to me.

The album immediately grabs you with the first track, “Savior”.  Without a doubt the strongest track on the album and one with real hit potential.  I’ve found myself humming the chorus all week.  I played this track for my wife and was surprised to see her tapping her toes unconsciously along with the music.  In addition to strong lyrics and vocals, it’s got some of that voice modulation that Cher popularized with “Believe” back in 1998.  The modulation give it that extra something that makes it that much cooler.  I love this song!  Demonstrating her geekiness, the video is heavily influenced by science fiction.  Check out the “Savior” music video below.


"Saviour" Music Video

LIGHTS | MySpace Video

If you can’t see the embedded video above, click here.

The entire album is enjoyable, however, a few other stand-out tracks include: Drive My Soul, Ice, and February Air.  LIGHTS should be applauded for cleverly working in the lyrics, “Ice, Ice, baby” into her song “Ice”.  This girl is cute, clever and cheeky!

One of the things that impressed me the most about LIGHTS is that she built her fan base by herself.  She isn’t some pre-fabricated pop star created by a major music label.  Her own online efforts are what built her popularity.  MySpace was one of her primary channels to get the word out about her music, along with her web site.  In 2008 she released her first EP for which she won the 2009 Juno (the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy Award) for New Artist of the Year.  Impressive!

The Listening is really enjoyable, amazing as a debut LP, and definitely worth your time.  Check out LIGHTS at iamlights.com.

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2 Responses to “Music Review: LIGHTS debut album, The Listening”

  1. 44 Says:

    Good news for Lights! Shag did not say she will be the next Guns N’ Roses.

  2. Frank Lee Delano Says:

    I guess letting autotune do all the heavy lifting is better than just being unambitiously off-key, like all those pop-punk losers. Still, it’s the sound of choice for the post-Milli Vanilli talentless.

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