Lights or Valerie Poxleitner (born April 11, 1987) is a Canadian synth pop singer-songwriter, best known for her songs "February Air", "White", "Drive My Soul", and "The Last Thing On Your Mind", featured in 2008 Old Navy video commercials.
In a September 2007 interview, Lights indicated her primary influence as Björk. This influence can be seen strongly in her synth-based pop music, though her music is overall much happier and optimistic than Bjork's music.
Lights is often compared to Vanessa Carlton for her high-toned, soft voice, and she has said she was a fan when she was younger. Lights is one of several new female singers coming to fore in the late 2000s. This list includes the likes of Kate Voegele, Katy Perry and Tristan Prettyman. All of them, Lights included, style themselves after the 1980s New Wave singers and 1990s feminist singer-songwriters, therefore setting the stage for the return in force and by popular choice of melodious pop music, in place of the hip-hop or rap, which has largely monopolized the pop landscape so far this century.
Behind the scenes, Lights has been hired to write songs and texts for the television series Instant Star, together with other skilled songwriters and musicians. They work as a team. Lights and Luke McMaster are credited with composing "Perfect", sung in the role of Jude Harrison on the show by Alexz Johnson. The song is a not-so-subtle musical allusion to "Penny Lane", written by Paul McCartney for The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band as a counterpoint to John Lennon's "Strawberry Fields Forever", but withheld, and actually only released on the Magical Mystery Tour album. Luke McMaster's and Valerie Poxleitner's "Perfect" (she is credited like so on the soundtrack CD, and it is she, who sings it on this issue, not Alexz Johnson) also borrows rhythmically from the familiar Welcome Back, Kotter TV theme. So much borrowing in one song gives a new meaning to "synth" in "synth pop", but Lights says she knows what she's doing, relying on her "pretty intense cheese-o-meter" to walk the path true and narrow.
The music she has written by her self, for her own brand, is on the whole considerably subtler and more her own, albeit entirely "electro-pop". Her voice, and her music, have met with very favorable reception, and even higher hopes, in the Toronto press. Likewise, she is evidently loved in the USA cities where she sung locally already.
When asked about when she wrote her first song, Valerie has said "I was eleven, and I learned three chords on the guitar it was the first time I really learned how to play guitar and I wanted to write a song with them so I went down to my mom and I said pick a number between 1 and 150 and she picked 5 or something, I can’t really remember the number, but I went and opened up the Bible and there was 150 Psalms already written so I went to the number she chose and wrote a song with that and that kicked off the biggest thing of my life."
In 2005, Lights began writing for Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
For the past year, Lights has worked on touring in Toronto and vicinity, as well as nearby cities such as London, Ontario, Guelph, Ontario, Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pontiac, Michigan. With her music and singing becoming a sound success in the service of Old Navy, Lights was able to make deals for promoting her music and singing under her own brand. In October she is booked to perform on the campus of State University of New York at Fredonia, midway between Buffalo, New York and Erie, Pennsylvania. A tour of U.S. cities for the fall 2008 is also planned.
Lights is managed by Canadian musician and radio personality Jian Ghomeshi.
|Drive My Soul|
|I Owe You One|
|The Last Thing On Your Mind|