Lights returns to New York City for round two of Siberia
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 21:05
Lights giggled on the phone as she spoke about her upcoming show in New York City. “It certainly isn’t going to be tame, by any means,” she said with pride.
After an initial circuit of promotional touring for her latest album, Siberia, Canadian electro-rock superstar Lights came back for more on April 20. he show, at Irving Plaza (just blocks south of Baruch College), drew fans from all over the East Coast area to enjoy a second live performance of tracks from the October 2011 record.
“How many of you are here for round two of Siberia?” Lights shouted to the crowd from behind her synthesizer. “I won’t lie, we’ve been looking forward to this show for a while.” Her latest show in the City, at the Gramercy Theatre on October 19 of last year, had a huge turnout and led to almost immediate planning of a return visit.
“It isn’t often that we get to come back that quickly, you know,” she claimed.
“I mean, there’s something to be said for home shows in Toronto, where we go and they raise the bar every time – but New York is now one of the equivalents of that, it’s really cool.”
The development in Lights’ composition is apparent in Siberia, where tracks like “And Counting…” punctuate the happy-go-lucky style that her audience has grown to expect from her. Still, “happy” seems to be an apparent pillar of her writing style (and personality), and it permeates the majority of the album. Initially considered a musician in the “electro-pop” vein, Lights’ development in Siberia – and the accompanying live performance – clearly demonstrates Lights’ foray into electro-rock.
“The songs on Siberia are grittier, while still being more upbeat, and really happy,” she claimed, grasping for words to truly define her sound. The live show was indicative of this development; with a four-person band backing her up on stage, each song had a more authentic, acoustic feel.
“So, if you have hips, bump them into the next person’s hips,” Lights said, eliciting giggles from the crowd.
“The bed tracks often come out of jam sessions, and Siberia so sonically-driven,” Lights said. “With The Listening [Lights’ debut album], the songs were based on things that I wanted to say directly. With the latest record, there was no specific intention – and that was the beauty of it.” The harmonic component of Siberia translated directly into live performances of tracks like “Flux And Flow,” where dubstep-inspired influences could not be ignored in the live performance and on the record.
“’Flux And Flow’ is easily my – our – favorite song to perform. You can really feel it in your chest,” she boasted.
Still, the prowess of her electronic composition cannot be ignored. The sine waves cut like a knife in tracks like “And Counting…” where Lights uses the simplicity of a synthesized white-noise like background to make the vocals in the foreground stand out more sharply.
“I know myself that much more now. I have a lot to learn, but I am that much more comfortable,” she said. “It has truly been really, really fun.”
Lights’ United States tour wrapped up on April 29, and will continue on for five dates in Australia beginning June 1.
“Yea, there was a lot of pressure to get the light show right,” she laughed. “Could you imagine if we hadn’t?”