Perhaps when the ground opened and Hades plucked Persephone from the sunlit earth, Brooklyn band Lights’ music was the soundtrack. The combination of effervescent vocal harmonies and fuzzy guitar conjures the image of Death courting the maiden – that kiss of both darkness and light, the roughness against the softness.
Founding members Sophia Knapp and Linnea Vedder met in 2004, a chance encounter that bloomed quickly into a friendship. With their creative energies flowing in the same channel, it was only a matter of time before they would make music together. Lights began as a simple blend of electric guitar, ribbon-tailed tambourine, and tom drum. They practiced in an old townhouse in the West Village, and that eccentric ghost-filled apartment worked as a foundation for their original music – the inky corridors, the light sifting in through the melting glass, and the uneasy feelings lent a shadowy depth to Lights’ youthful voice.
In 2005, Lights met Jana Hunter, Mouth Of Leaves, and Meadows. Their kinship begat the summer of Golden Blood Tour, and Lights left a whistling trail through the southern United States. The tour was literally stormy (they narrowly missed Hurricane Katrina by a day in New Orleans), and the gale force blew them back to New York and the Williamsburg studio of producer Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Gang Gang Dance). There, with candlelight and interstellar love, they made their EP ‘Even In The Darkest Hours’.
The sun was setting on the isle of Manhattan. By this time, Adam Mitchell from Meadows had added his bass to Lights and the tiny apartment in the West Village could no longer contain the heavy hum. Brooklyn beckoned and Lights accepted. Like a rainbow racing towards twilight’s frontier, Lights’ music ignited and began to burn. It was then that the willow stick circling the scrying bowl sang a deeper tune – their sound reflected and refracted. Lights became more keen-edged, and the music could now be likened to a sort of abstracted pop music.
Wizard Smoke joined forces as projectionist and Lights became a full sensory experience. The light show envelopes, holds, and coaxes one into a trance – feeling, hearing, and seeing are inseparable. Thereafter the band went on the Crystal Totem Tour with Brightblack Morning Light and Mariee Sioux.
In the Fall of 2007 Lights found themselves in Greg Weeks’ (Espers) Hexham Head studio in Philadelphia. With some analog tape and a little help from their friends, the band wove together this their self-titled LP.