“Skin & Earth” – Lights Album Review

On September 22nd, 2017, Lights, the Canadian alternative synthpop artist released her fourteen song album, “Skin & Earth.” This is the fourth studio album released by Lights and “Skin & Earth” is a culmination of her artistic career, bringing together passion, anger, and energy into one project. As well as an album, in order to combine the music to a story, Lights created the fictional alter ego character, Enalia, in a self written and illustrated comic book. The creativity of combing an album and a comic makes the whole experience of listening to this album other worldly.

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The thirty second intro for the start of the album brings you into a space age techno state of mind and her haunting voice engulfs you in the music. Following the intro, “Skydiving” and “Until the Light” introduce a rhythmic beat that is impossible not to nod and dance along to.

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As the fourth track, “Savage” begins to play, the tone gets darker and you can’t help but be mesmerized with the heavy empowering beat that is a change in pace from the upbeat dance sound of the first three songs. As she sings the lines, “How do you fix the damage? How do you break the habit?”  the anger is prominent, which is a much different side of Lights compared to her other more mellow albums. The moody tone holds strong as the fifth track, “New Fears” follows, but gains a more upbeat sound as she sings “I will back you up, I will show you love.” You can feel the emotion in her voice and she leaves you wanting more as the final notes ring out. She creates beauty out of the anger she portrays which makes these songs even more intriguing.

The album changes pace yet again as “Morphine” generates a lighter more slow paced vibe, which juxtaposes the lively dance sound of tracks “We Were Here” and “Kicks.” As the opening notes of “Giants” plays, you are immediately engaged in a massive sound that is large enough to be heard in stadiums, and the immense tone continues as the tenth track “Moonshine” follows.

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The Interlude commences and the slow pace of the one minute and seven second song alerts the listeners that the end of the album is near. The eleventh track “Magnetic Field” holds onto the slow vibe of the Interlude and leaves you feeling almost nostalgic as she sings ” Love me, leave me, high and dry, back in your arms and I don’t know why,” but the pace quickly changes as “Fight Club” and “Almost Had Me” reintroduce the techno dance tone of the earlier songs.

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The diversity of sounds in this album is inspiring and encourages you to lose all track of time. From the Intro to the Interlude, there was never a loss in artistry and the pure emotion and honesty intertwined in every song makes this album all the more relatable. “Skin & Earth” can be found on Spotify and iTunes, and you can buy the Skin & Earth comic on her website, store.iamlights.com.

Review by Emily Brower

Photography by Annika Cimas

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