Unless you are (1) Canadian, or more likely, (2) a probably underaged girl who spends a lot of time on Tumblr, you can be forgiven for not immediately recognizing Toronto-based electro-pop artist Lights. But if she and the seeming marketing juggernaut behind her have their way, that should soon change. The soon-to-be 25-year-old is already huge in her native homeland, where her solo synth pop has drawn comparisons to acts like Owl City and scored her some decent chart slots so far.
Much like Owl City -- and any number of bedroom projects started by former scene kids -- Lights clearly boasts a past around pop-punk and other recently popular rock styles. Her singing borrows the alternately pinched and drawn-out vowels and other stylized vocal inflections of the postpostpostpostwhatever rock circuit, and her song structures are clearly pop.
At the same time, her image strikes a perfect chord for the current transitioning phase of teen and very early-20-something subculture. The overly mussed-up, made-up look is out, and Lights strikes a perfect balance between edge (big hair, a few carefully placed tattoos) and mainstream viability (thinness, whiteness, prettiness).
So yes, Lights -- who was born with another name but legally changed it -- is a marketer's dream, especially considering she's now engaged to Blessthefall vocalist Beau Bokan, which adds another teen-bloggy point of interest. Still, her music is catchy enough on its own, if this kind of thing is your flavor, and she deserves a lot of credit for writing and performing her own material.
She's currently testing the waters of U.S. breakout success with a club tour, which brings her to the Culture Room on March 11. In advance of that, you can grab a free download of a remix, "Toes," tweaked by Woodhands and stream a few of her other songs via Soundcloud.
Lights. With Ambassadors. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $13. Click here.
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