Lights wsg X Ambassadors
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
March 10, 7 p.m.
$15 advance, $18 day of show
sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232
Electropop artist Lights knows what it takes to create good, catchy tunes. The 27-year-old has been at it since her teens, writing songs that have found their way to television, an Old Navy ad campaign and success on the charts including two certified gold albums in her native Canada.
But after the release of her second record, 2011's Siberia, Lights found herself in a bit of a slump, lacking direction and focus on her songwriting. So she turned to other forms of art to push through and find some inspiration.
“I felt it was important to continue exercising creativity even though music was a little frustrating,” Lights said. “So I painted a lot, wrote random stories, sketched and wrote poetry every day. It kept the creative juices flowing even in a bout of writer's block.”
She even sought out a significant change in scenery, spending some time in New Mexico living in an eco-friendly house known as an Earthship.
“[The] whole environment itself was pretty inspiring, being out in the desert in a home that is completely carbon zero and off the grid,” she said. “[It] makes you think about the bigger picture a bit, which in turn makes writing a song seem pretty insignificant, ultimately taking the pressure off a bit.”
This internal exploration helped birth what became her third studio release, Little Machines. According to Lights, the key to truly reaching out and connecting with people through her songwriting is best achieved by embracing the abstract.
“While writing something that drops very specific references can be cool, it's important to make art that is fairly open to interpretation by the listener,” she said. “We rely on art to help us through our individual experiences and kind of like a Rorschach test, we find our own answers within it.”
A new album wasn't the only big news for Lights last year, as she and husband, Beau Bokan (vocalist for metalcore band Blessthefall), welcomed daughter, Rocket Wild, in February, which is helping her find new focus and inspiration.
“Not only as a band, but in terms of production and sound, we are better than ever and it's a really energetic, fun show,” Lights said.“Motherhood has brought in a whole new layer of confidence and I feel great on stage.”