In December, I decided Lights amazing E.P released mid 2008 was the E.P of the year alongside Isabel Guzmans stunning Kill The Boy E.P. Its a beautiful set of songs, electronically soft to touch and beautiful to sonically see. Well, this week Lights got nominated in the Canadian version of the Grammy's as Best Newcomer and so an interview seemed only right. The amazingly talented pop princess is simply a cut above the rest. She looks like She-ra's much younger sister. A poppier version of Robyn and Bjork. But still very Lights.....you only have to take a look at her wonderfully camp yet sensitive videos to realize just how great she is...Whats more...she's on her way to Europe! If you read on, might get the sense at how radically awsome this girl is...she is totally nice and an utterly lovely addition to the world of pop!
Okay! Well done on your Juno nomination!!!
How does it feel?
It's pretty thrilling to be suddenly recognized for the work I've pretty much invested my whole life into!
To those who have never heard of you or your music how would you best describe your pop and your sensibilities?
Intergalactic electro pop!
You've picked up some light and love from British sites...Will you be releasing anything this side of the pond anytime soon?
That's amazing! I have been to the UK a few times and have fallen in love with it! It's pretty rad to hear that the love is being returned. I'll be saddling up with a touring festival there in April, as well as releasing my record there very soon.
I actually discovered you through word of mouth-in fact it was the great Steve Anderson who told me about you! If you had to collaborate with any pop princess who would it be?
Wow!! You keep flabbergasting me with little fun facts of awesomeness. I'm stoked! I would pick Bjork for sure. Although she may not necessarily fall under the category of "Pop Princess" she represents everything wonderful that phrase means to me in my books.
Talk me through your E.P-I love it What did you want to achieve with it?
Thank you again!! I wanted to create music that spoke directly the things I mean, feel and say, I don't like to romanticize lyrically, fancifying ideas--I say it like it is! With a little metaphor thrown in here and there. And I wanted to take these situations and match them with melodies that I felt represented that feeling, and surround those little creations with synthy electro stylings.
I mean its is both timid yet feisty, also shy, hot, cold, poppy yet incredibly sensitive and mature. How did you get that mixture? That balance-its perfect!
It's funny the way I create, I can't really explain how I know when a song is right, lyrically, musically and production-wise, but something inside me tells me when it is. I wish it was something I could put in a jar and put on a shelf, because it would probably be very glowy and fluorescent looking.
I love White! I play it on the bus and it makes a bad day no longer rainy or cloudy but bright and warm. Like a drop of sunshine against a wave of darkness! It pierces through and insulates the soul.
GOOD! Don't let rain clouds cry at all of your parades! :D Nobody likes a wet Ferris wheel.
Seriously though, there is a tender and discrete yet glorious amount of joy in your pop. Drive My Soul is a pretty good example of that. Where did that song come from?
There is this empty feeling one gets when an important element of their life walks off--this feeling of suddenly being stopped and frozen in your tracks, somewhat like stalling your car. I think in everyone's lifetime you experience moments like these, but that doesn't mean it's the end of the road, it's just a bump on the way. Drive My Soul looks at that for the sadness that it is, but with a positivity that says you're going to be okay. I swear I didn't mean for those last two lines to rhyme!
So with the song-writing process in general how deep do you like to get? How much do you give away in your music?
I give everything away in my music that I'm feeling at that moment, but I am always sure to translate it into something a little more vague so it's relatable to more situations. It's the emotions I try to transcribe, not so much situations.
The song, The Year of the Cure, for instance is a beautiful, truthful and emotional track. But also heartbreaking. It also feels incredibly central at the same time. How do you, as a song-writer, let yourself go?
You just close your eyes! There is a different world in the dark and you don't have the distractions of logic telling you that your melody or your lyric is wrong. When I'm half asleep I come up with the best stuff!
You might have heard of the snow that practically brought the city of London to standstill recently. It was the February Air perhaps! Now, of course it was only 13cm of snow and nothing like the Canadian winters but it was like the world stopped and we all went out and just had to build snowmen! If your car got stuck in a winter blizzard what album on your mp3 player would you play to warm up those bones…??
Oh no! I hope you guys can manage, and if anything, I hope you all got some time off work :D
I'd warm up my bones with Architects! Then transition with the help of Justice to Lightspeed Champion for a little slide guitar that will lasso your heart!
Does snow, or the weather in general, influence your snowflake-like gentle pop? Going by the E.P's song titles suggestions one might think it is!
Definitely. You know what, I didn't realize I was so incredibly influenced by my chilly surroundings until I put together the tracklist for the EP. I suppose a lot of time spent indoors as a result of icy and freezing conditions has spawned a song or two in my day.
What are your essential musical influences?
Bjork, Phil Collins, Abba, Supertramp.
And so the topic of the incoming album! When can we expect a release date in Canada and the U.K?
End of summer, beginning of fall! It's pretty much finished, and I'm extremely proud of it!
Will it contain completely new tracks or will some of the E.p songs re-appear and if so will they be updated?
Four of the songs from the EP will be on it, probably just as they are, as well as around 8 entirely new tracks.
Can you give away hints to track names?
There is one called The Listening and it just describes the whole record so well.
Okay, what will the album sound like? More turbo pop like we've heard so far on the E.P?
You're still going to get all the electro-melodic goodness that is manifested in the EP, with a little bit of guitar tastefully scattered around, lyrics probing a little deeper, and focus on every texture and each layer of the song even more so than the first set of songs. I tried packing more lyrics in this time around. In real life I talk extremely fast, so it was only natural to sing a little faster.
Why did you get into music? Especially landing on planet pop!?
Raised a homeschooled kid, I was given a lot of time as a child with my family. My dad is very musical and one day out of every week he would take over and teach us music. I always looked forward to that day, and I suppose that instilled an incredible passion to be with music from an early age. I'm a huge sucker for melody, and the genre that gives the most room for melody is "pop". I always make songs that are drenched with melody, and as a result, pop is where I ended up!
Okay quick fire-round! Time to test your pop knowledge! Let the silly questions commence!
Bring it on!
If you could be any light-bulb what would it be and why?
a) Halogen b) Energy Saving c) the traditional Screw-in
Are halogen lights the ones that are used for growing plants? If they are, I would totally be that. And I would grow apple trees and grape vines under my glowing goodness. And all the tree frogs in the forest would love me!
What is your favourite day of the week and what colour is it?
Thursday, and it's orange. I don't really like orange, but I like Thursday.
What was the name of the Canadian Popstars Band?
a) Velvet Underground b) Velvet Empire c) Velvet Sofa
I think it was Velvet Underground? I could be way off though. I never watch tv for anything other than the cartoon network. (Incorrect its b!)
Which Canadian multi-million selling female singer is related to Madonna?
a) Alanis b) Celine c) Avril
I'm clueless on this one! I will go with Celine, just because it seems like the most unlikely! And because I just love her. (Correct!)
What was your favourite Spice Girl and Why?
I would have to go with Sporty. She was strong and cool as a cucumber and could do back handsprings.
Other than your amazing self what act would you recommend to readers?
Dragonette! Partly Canadian, Partly from the UK! Saucy-indie-dance-pop-fun-action :)
Okay, thank you Lights! Can't wait for the album and your tour of the UK!
Thank you so much for having me for an interview!! See you in April!