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Music / Lights

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The singer in her natural habitat.

"Capture something invisible, organize it, give it movement, then spit it back from whence it came. Music is a dark, dark art."

Lights is a Canadian pop singer (born in 1987 as Valerie Anne Poxleitner) known for performing songs such as "February Air", "Saviour", "Ice" and "Second Go" during the late 2000s. She released her self-titled debut EP in 2008, and her first full-length album The Listening in late 2009.

Her official website can be found here

Main Studio Discography

This singer provides examples of:

  • Accent On The Wrong Syllable: Sure, I guess the words "hysteria" and "Siberia" can be pronounced to rhyme with "diarrhea"...
  • Album Title Drop:
    • "Saviour" for The Listening: "The night is deafening/When the silence is listening..." Well, that and the title track, of course.
    • The title of Little Machines is dropped in the lyrics of "Running with the Boys".
  • An Aesop: The song "Everybody Breaks A Glass" seems like it's meant to convey the message of "Hey, nobody's perfect, so don't sweat your flaws."
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves are a recurring theme on Skin & Earth.
  • Animated Music Video: "Saviour".
  • Answer Song / Siamese Twin Songs: "...And Counting" is the second half of a pair with Blessthefall's "40 Days". Lights is married to their singer Beau Bokan, and the songs deal with their previous distance from each other due to their respective tours, and living in different countries. She also appears at the end of the video for "40 Days"
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Darker and Edgier version of "Ice" shows her and the Evil Twin destroying furniture and each other's instruments. But it's the Evil Twin taking possession of and systematically draining the fishbowl, too far away for a direct interception, that begins the battle in earnest.
  • Author Avatar / Adam Westing: Captain Lights.
  • Auto-Tune: In the verses of "Saviour" and in the middle-eight of "The Listening". It is used less for vocal correction and more as an effect.
  • Badass Boast: "Banner" from Sibera has this lyric.
    LIGHTS: No weapon can sever the soul from me.
  • Becoming the Mask / Do Not Call Me "Paul": She actually had her name legally changed to Lights, and prefers that people no longer address or refer to her by her born first name Valerie.
  • Canada, Eh?
  • Carpe Diem: The main theme of "We Were Here".
  • Catchphrase: Captain Lights says "Damn..." at the end of nearly every episode (almost always because a new threat is revealed). When Lights sees Earth in the last episode, she says it again, but this time in admiration.
    • The exception is Issue Four, where Captain Lights instead listens to the voices of the Wah-Wah'snote  and reflects on the uniqueness and beauty of each voice.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: She lent some of her songs to (and even appeared in) an Old Navy TV ad campaign in early 2008. Possibly an Inverted since these commercials actually introduced her to many of her fans.
  • Concept Album: Her fourth album, Skin and Earth, with a tie-in comic. (Not the first time she's made a comic, incidentally.)
    • Siberia can be thought of as one, loosely, since almost all the songs on it have the theme of I Will Wait for You. (See Answer Song above for context.)
  • Cover Album: She did a complete acoustic cover of Drake's Scorpion Side B.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Her song "Muscle Memory" is about trying to get over the instinct to reach for a lover who is no longer there. Though she noted her surprise that a lot of people interpret the lyrics to be about masturbation.
  • Darker and Edgier: Siberia compared to The Listening, with its grittier production and the lyrics' more forlorn tone. That said, some of its songs ("Toes" and "Peace Sign" being some prime examples) wouldn't feel out of place on The Listening, and it generally doesn't feel too dark.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Owl City.
    • In Owl City's "Deer in the Headlights" video, both Lights and Owl City appear.
    • She and Owl City also did a duet called Cactus in the Valley. The duet can only be heard in the acoustic version. The original is a solo.
    • Lights also duets with Owl City on his song "The Yacht Club".
    • They've also gone on tour together.
  • Dogged Nice Girl: "Quiet" seems to be written from a type 2 perspective.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The Song of Anti-Creation would cause this in Audioquest: A Captain Lights Adventure.
  • Fanservice: Both "Saviour" and "Toes" have her wearing a visible black bra not to mention the shorts.
  • Genki Girl: She has elements of this.
  • Genre Throwback: To 80s synthpop, especially The Listening.
  • Grow Old with Me: In the lyrics to "Siberia".
  • Iconic Item: Early on in her career Lights would wear a brightly-colored headband; not these days.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Skydiving", the first vocal track on Skin & Earth (the preceding track, "Intro", is an instrumental prologue to "Skydiving") starts with the line "It all starts here."
  • Lighter and Softer: Little Machines is essentially a happy medium between the more rhythmic production of Siberia with the optimistic tone of The Listening. Lights notes that the album's spirit was partly influenced by the fact that she was pregnant at the time.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: Many of Skin & Earth's music videos recreate scenes from the comic.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: "Drive My Soul" is about this:
    "When you're gone, well, I lose control
    You're the only road I know
    You show me where to go
    Who will drive my soul?"
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: "Ice". The lyrics are about a boyfriend who's a male Ice Queen, the music video is about Lights fighting her cloaked Evil Twin.
  • Mega Neko: Just look at the thing!!!!
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The cover of Siberia, unlike her other two albums, is a Deliberately Monochrome photo of her wearing a plaid shirt with a Navel-Deep Neckline and (nothing underneath, even) on a plain background.
  • Mind Screw: The ending of the video for "Ice". A Split-Personality Merge? The Bad Guy Wins? What?
  • Mirror Match: Near the end of "Ice," with her Evil Counterpartnote .
  • Motor Mouth: She admits to being a naturally fast speaker. Also applies to her vocals in the middle-eight section of "Ice" (the 'Leonard Bernstein' of which you can find in the Shout Out trope listed further down the page).
    • Particularly impressive in this
    • For those who are wondering, the full lyrics from the middle-eight of "Ice" are as follows:
      Lights: I'm looking at you looking at me, what can I do but say sorry, it's a little late but you know I just want you to be happy, what I gotta say to make you let me get away with it this time? I know you're upset and that you're happy just to sit and hate me, but I'll make a bet that you'd be better to forget about me, even better yet I'll let a little light melt the ice, ice baby!
  • Mythology Gag: En's Captain Lights boyshorts in Skin & Earth.
  • New Sound Album: Siberia. It keeps the synth/electro sound of The Listening, but adds elements of hip-hop and dubstep (Better Than It Sounds) and is generally darker and more subdued. Skin & Earth meanwhile has a much harder rock influence, while still incorporating her signature synth.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: In the Mirror Match shown in "Ice," this is indicated by the respective energy bursts of the core players (where the Evil Twin decides to empty the bowl containing the heroine's goldfish).
  • Perky Goth: Her appearance and love for metal music would make up the 'Goth' part of this trope, while her own music and personality make up the 'Perky' part. Go figure.
  • Pregnant Badass: During the recording of "Little Machines". She had to change her singing technique, as her diaphragm had tightened due to pregnancy. Taken further with "Muscle Memory", as she recorded it while in the early stages of labor!
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Lights has a tendency to stick some pretty nice vocabulary words into her lyrics. There aren't many other pop singers out there who put words like "interim" and "trajectories" into the same song and actually make it work.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Raygun Gothic: The "Drive My Soul" video.
  • Robot or Spaceman Alter Ego: Captain Lights.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: On a few songs. Used very prominently on "Everybody Breaks a Glass" and the ending of "Running With the Boys", for example.
  • Special Guest: Showed up on the Fast Food Meatloaf episode of Epic Meal Time.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: In episode four of her "Captain Lights" adventures, her fictional self expresses pity for "those who sought to silence others, preferring quiet obedience to creative expression." (Much like the villain of the story, Lotar.)
  • The Oner: The video for "Second Go".
  • Tempting Fate: "All I gotta do now is get inside without being noticed... What the— ?"
  • Unkempt Beauty: Even with hair that is often unruly (except for her trademark combed-over fringe) and a minimal amount of makeup (she is rarely seen without eyeliner), Lights still retains a natural cuteness. Many fans can't help but fall in love with her, especially When She Smiles.
  • Unplugged Version: Siberia (Acoustic) is an entire unplugged album.
    • She has released a few acoustic albums, or at least EPs. Little Machines also got an acoustic version with most of the same songs on it called Midnight Machines.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!:
    • Canadian rapper Shad in "Everybody Breaks a Glass" and "Flux and Flow" on Siberia. He either makes the tracks better or is extremely out of place.
    • Also on the K-OS remix of "Ice".