Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The image that LIGHTS creates in her song, "Heavy Rope," is one that feels like a continuation drawn from many of her other songs. There is a clinging to the rocks, fighting the momentum, battling the day and just trying to hang tough for as long as she physically can. The pretty Canadian songwriter seems as if she possesses the kind of fortitude that is always going to put just enough muscle and grip into the thin and weakening fingers at the ends of her hands. They will hold and hold and hold, growing white and gathering an increasing soreness, but damn it, they're going to hang in there, against all odds. It just happens to be her way. It's all she knows, this need to never drop, to just keep plugging away, beating back against the darkness that presses on.
The pint-sized wonder writes songs that others champion as their own rallying cries. They've been short-changed or written off, hurt or broken down for some reason or another and they've turned to her resilient electro-pop music for the silver linings that it tries to impress upon them.
The latest album is entitled, "Siberia," a place that the former Soviet Union used as a place of isolation for the unwanteds and undesirables that they placed in their cold penal colonies, is filled with references alluding to that kind of containment or imprisonment. In all of the situations, however, there's a sense that no one's just taking the sentence at face value. She sings, "Toss me a heavy rope/It's a slippery slope," and you feel that there are frigid waves crashing and still, there amongst the mist and with a steep mess to clamor up, is a battered and bruised, but never broken psyche. You picture LIGHTS there, not holding on for dear life, but actually rescuing herself, using all of her might to get back onto even footing. She wishes only to be taken back to her element, whatever she feels that is. It must be somewhere that feels safe. It must have plenty of warmth and it must be where she never feels her hands shake, where everything feels mostly stable, where love can be had and where it will hold its promise.