For Lights — aka Valerie Poxleitner — the hardest part about making her sophomore album, “Siberia,” was putting aside the success of her 2009 debut, “The Listening.”
“Suddenly, after your first record, there’s these expectations of what’s going to come,” says the Ontario-born Lights, 24. “Fans and the record company and whoever else are expecting something special. It was an interesting place to be, musically.
I just had to shed those expectations and make the music I really wanted to make. I had to be happy first and then hope that everyone else liked it.”
So far they seem to. “Siberia,” which came out earlier this month, debuted at No. 3 on the Canadian charts and No. 47 on the Billboard 200 — 82 positions higher than “The Listening.” The first single, “Toes” — one of three collaborations with the Toronto electronica troupe Holy F*** — is also doing well and is giving Lights a chance to show off the “heavier, grittier” sound she wanted for the album.
“I was listening to a lot of Crystal Castles, dub step ... and I wanted to marry that heaviness with the softness of my music and my vocals,” Lights explains. “Everything I’m hearing now is so perfect. Everything on the radio, even my last record, it’s pristine. I think my ears are starting to get tired of that perfection.
“So I wanted to give something a little gnarlier. When grunge came in the ’90s, people were craving some rawness after so much of that perfect ’80s pop. So now maybe it’s the perfect time to do the same kind of thing.”
Lights and Rubik perform Monday, Oct. 24, at the Eagle Theater, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $13.50 in advance, $15 day of show. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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