Canadian electro artist Lights, is out with her sophomore effort Siberia. She is most known for her signature space-age sound, what I envision a spaceship sounding like when jumping to LIGHTSpeed (see what I did there? So PUNny TROLOLOLOL). She is also well-known for her being every nerd’s wet dream, but that is another story altogether. Before even listening to the music, she’s gained my respect with this record, as she is going completely solo- forsaking general means of album distribution and going about it personally.
Two years after her debut album The Listening Lights comes back with a veritable army of fans to please and a lot of grit between the gears of her spaceship; that is to say that things stray from more of a stellar feel towards something more urban and real. While The Listening felt like a trip through space, Siberia feels like Gotham City in the winter. But…perhaps AFTER Batman has saved the day, because it is not completely void of the bubbly Lights we all have come to know, but she has grown wonders sonically this time around.
One of the first and foremost things that jumps at you throughout Siberia is her updated usage of her beats and kicks. They are a lot more heavy in Siberia– they definitely take a front seat; but that is not to say they are dirtnasty dubstep abberations. These percussion elements will definitely translate well into her live show, which is something many electro artists overlook. It has always struck me as odd, watching a skinny DJ flail around behind a desk for hours. Lights has always played her instruments live and had a band supporting her, these new drums will add a certain footstomping dynamic to her live show, the likes of which was missing from The Listening. She also ends off the album with a crazy instrumental lasting nearly 9 minutes, something I did not quite expect, but by the end respected.
Lights’ vocal performance throughout the record is scores better than her previous effort. There were strong moments on The Listening, but in Siberia, those strong moments are emulated in nearly every song, throughout its entire duration and are then supplemented regularly with soaring vocals that were rare, but present in The Listening. Lights’ has an innate ability to seamlessly change from a vocal softness to singing much more powerful. It works extremely well with the hard percussion elements, and the silky soft melodies Lights’ is known for. Lyrically she has matured just as much as her sound, she is less cute and more gritty. Her new words can, much more clearly, be defined as art.
This album has everything an electronic music fan could ever wish for, have you ever heard of an electro anthem? Neither had I, but Lights will have have your arms in the air, singing along with her with “Banner”. If you’re going to see her live, make sure you bring a cellphone or some glowsticks, because you will be swaying them to and fro to the sounds of “Cactus In The Valley”. Lights encompasses almost the entire spectrum of electronic music; trance is there, dubstep can be heard and everything in-between- she does this all while maintaining the signature style she created for herself.
Lights has created a sound that is equal parts the Lights we know and love and the one we have yet to discover. Her legions of devoted will eat this up and hopefully her numbers will swell to the likes of which music like this deserves.