In early September, I was listening to one of my Spotify playlists when a promotional ad for an artist’s new album started playing through my speakers. I immediately looked at what song was playing and saw that it was “Up We Go,” the new lead single from Lights. I was hooked.
Canadian electro-pop singer-songwriter Valerie Poxleitner, aka Lights, is three albums into her music career. Her style resembles a futuristic pop mix of Madonna, Ellie Goulding, Björk, Vanessa Carlton and even a hint of Lana Del Rey. All three of her albums are a continuation of her development in the music industry, as Lights creates her own unique voice in a sea of indistinguishable music. From writing her own songs to designing her album artwork, Lights is completely in charge of her own music destiny.
Her first album, The Listening, is a bright and bubbly album with a retro-futuristic take on melodic pop. Released in 2009, this album earned her frequent comparisions to Owl City and other solo electro-pop artists. However, Lights beats out the others by creating an album with no fillers, where every song holds its own and offers another piece to the puzzle. “Pretend” is a stand out track, dreaming about what it would be like to be a kid again.
Released in 2011, her second album, Siberia, employed a dubstep theme and chilling tones to create a more dramatic tone. The album is more mature, intellectual and emotional. It seems to have some grit and dirt in each song, whether it is the distorted bass line of “Siberia” or the artful white noise of nine-minute album closer “Day One.” Still, it stays true to Lights’ upbeat tracks from her debut album, and is incredibly catchy.
This past September, Little Machines presented another electro-pop collection of songs that make you want to get up and dance. This album proves that simple, sweet songs go a long way, as Lights reverts to similar themes seen in her debut album. “Up We Go” is a very popular single from her latest album, created with a punching sound mixed with blasting vocals and a strong bass. After cultivating her musical style through three albums, Little Machines is her best yet.
Whether you are working out at the gym or cleaning your room, Lights’ electro-pop beats will always be breath of fresh air in the pop world.