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Lights pushed through writer's block to make new album

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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As she was gearing up to make her new album, "Little Machines," Canadian singer-songwriter Valerie Ann Poxleitner found that the creative Lights didn't appear to be on.

Poxleitner, who performs under the moniker Lights, says she wrote the first track for the album, "Speeding," very quickly and figured "this is easy. I've got it! We're rolling!" But shortly thereafter, the 27-year-old electro-pop troubadour from Ontario "plunged into the hole of uninspiration, uncreativity. It was completely probably self-applied pressure -- 'Do I have to write hit songs? What's on radio now?' and when I did that, there was nothing. I couldn't listen to music. I didn't enjoy it anymore. It was a slippery slope situation."

Lights widely did "other things to free myself up creatively, including writing poetry and painting, taking long walks and going on writing retreats for a change of scenery. She gradually refreshed herself and by November of 2013 "looked at the body of songs I'd written wtih my manager and listened to everything and said, 'Wow, we've got it!' But it was an adventure getting there."

Lights acknowledges that she may have set the bar too high for herself. Her 2011 album "Siberia" was applauded for its sophistication and growth from 2009's "The Listening." But Lights says her creative diversions helped her calm down and simplify her ambitions.

"Ultimately the creative mission was to create the best album possible," she says. "The previous records, especially 'Siberia,' were about pushing the lyrics and, sonically making sounds that were sort of groundbreaking and new and trying new thing in the studio.

"But ('Little Machines') was about just making the best pop album I could. At the end of the day it becomes just about the best songs and the most fitting production for them. There wasn't anything to prove other than that."

Lights and Rush Midnight

Tuesday, No. 4. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit.

Tickets are $19.

Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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