Jemma Wolfe,

Senior ANDY Editor

The spindly star with the iconic side-swept hair – Lights – crooned her way to the hearts of those in attendance at campus bar TwelvEighty last Saturday, Nov. 26. After an energetic opening set by Toronto-based dance-rock band Nightbox, Lights took to the stage amidst frenzied chanting of her name.

 

TwelvEighty was largely filled by dedicated student fans, who welcomed every song with shouts and screams. She played an hour-long, 15-plus song set, dropping hits like “Toes” and “Second Go,” her tiny frame rocking on stage. Backed by a three-piece band who took care of the keyboard, drums, guitar and synths in rotation, Lights happily frolicked through her second studio album, Siberia.

 

In an interview prior to the show, Lights opened up about her new album and the directions she went with it. “It’s a totally new place than I was in with the first record,” she said, citing the dubstep influence and guest collaborators Shad and Holy Fuck as being largely responsible for that.

 

She said she was first intrigued with dubstep because of a concert she went to in Montreal, and knew then that she had to work with it. “One of the biggest attractions was the hardness of it, that it was hard. The bass sound and multi-layers and distortion I found was such a cool contrast to the softness of my vocals and the softness of melodies,” she explained.

 

Holy Fuck were also hugely part of the creation of the album. “We just jammed and the songs came out of that; it was really natural and organic. Everything just started to come together and it felt great … It was like, ‘let’s just be creative,’ and it was fun and that’s what came out on the record.”

 

Shad’s contribution was slightly more complex. With him in Vancouver and Lights based in Toronto, the entire collaboration for “Flux and Flow” was done by email. Inevitably, this presented some difficulties, but Shad “just killed it so much [on ‘Flux and Flow’] that we had him on ‘Everybody Breaks a Glass’ as well,” Lights said.

 

Of the email process, Lights elaborated, “I think collaborations can be done that way if it’s a feature spot. When it comes down to writing together in a cohesive way, I think you need to be in the same room. But with something already there and you’re adding a flavor to it, that can be done over email.” The resulting album is a solid, cohesive collaborative work.

 

Although her concert at TwelvEighty was marketed as the “Christmas Lights” show, ironically, Lights and her family don’t actually celebrate Christmas. “We used to,” she said, “but we stopped when I was about eleven.” Lights explained, “It’s not because we have anything against it, we just stopped doing it and it makes that time of year so much easier. It really [takes the pressure off] and makes it about visiting family. We don’t feel the need to buy each other presents or set up a tree or anything like that.”

 

The holiday instead involves snowboarding at Whistler when she’s in British Columbia, skating at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto when she’s in Ontario, and generally enjoying the time off. “I go home and visit my family in Vancouver. We get together and have dinner and just hang out. The thing I look forward to most is just being with the people I love,” she said with a smile.

 

Now that her Siberia tour is over for the year, she can do just that.

 

 

 

 

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