The heavy on the synthesizer pop act Lights, also known as Valerie Poxleitner, has been getting a lot of hype for not even having a full length release out yet. It could be solely from her beauty seeing as she is capable of turning one or two hundred heads, but in all honesty this girl is more than just a looker. She is a musician and has the voice to prove it.
The Canadian born singer actually wrote her first song when she was only eleven years old. At twenty-two Valerie Poxleitner was discovered when she casted to be a model for corporate giant bastards Wal-Mart. The modeling supervisor asked if she was a musician while looking at a picture of the hopeful model holding a guitar. Without hesitation she began to sing for them and the rest is pretty much history.
Her songs were first featured in Old Navy commercials and before long, Lights was playing the Facebook party at the 2009 SXSW, appearing on Canada’s MuchMusic, and even playing live for MTV. After grabbing a Juno award for being the best artist of 2009 she jumped on board for a summer tour with the Van’s Warped Tour. All of this happened within a four year period and Lights is still going. With plans on releasing a full length album this September and also acting as a supporting artist for a Fall Keane tour, Lights certainly as a lot on her plate.
So what is the hype about Lights you ask? Trust me I was asking myself the same question. While at the Warped Tour this summer I missed out on seeing this Lights act everyone was talking about. I read the schedule wrong and completely missed her set. Finally I have obtained a copy of her EP and I must say it was an interesting listen.
Opener “Ice” reminded me of all the cheap pop acts out there I just never cared for. You know, the one time Mousekateers that grew up to be pop stars that have everyone else do the work for them while they look pretty. I had to keep reminding myself that this was an honest musician. This song aside from the poppiness was catchy and I loved the Vanilla Ice throw in.
“Drive My Soul” was down shifted a few gears from the opening track as was “February Air”. At times I though of Gwen Stefani when she ditched No Doubt to go solo. The one song I actually enjoyed was “I Owe You One”, a thank you song for someone special. I think if Ben Gibbard did some back-up vocals on this track it would have been awesome. I guess it’s me, but I feel the song was very reminiscent of The Postal Service.
Think of a modern day Cyndi Lauper, Tiffany, or Debbie Gibson with keyboards galore and that pretty much sums up Lights. Honestly while listening to the EP I kept hoping for Lights to break into “Goonies Are Good Enough” cover. All I could image was 80’s style throughout the six songs. It was just too much for me.
Björk may be Lights’ most major influence but there is not any egg laying on the red carpet crazy experimental anything going on in this EP. It is straight forward syth-pop music for all the pop fans out there and not for me.
Lights certainly has an amazing voice, and the looks as well. I think it is just the music that backs her vocals that turned me off from most of the tracks. I think with a full band backing her she would sound amazing in my ears and others for that matter. With her full length debut The Listening dropping in a little over a month I can honestly say I am curious to see what is to come.
“Drive My Soul” video: