Valerie Poxleitner, better known as Lights, shows maturity and vulnerability on her latest album Skin&Earth which was released on Sept. 22.
Alongside the album, a six-part comic strip accompanies the content and is in the midst of being released. The singer’s website is full of information on the album and comic strip. After years of hard work, Lights truly believes this to be her best work yet.
Much of the album speaks of “the last city in a post-apocalyptic world that is lost to famine and plague, devoid of hope,” according to Lights’ website. Lights’ website also goes to lengths to discuss how Poxleitner had to dig deep for inspiration on the newest album to bring out both the good and bad of her personal life — creating a transparent version of herself.
The album is constructed with a goal to imply a few messages: one is feeling free, lively and spontaneous; perhaps with a special someone, and possibly where most of the content of this album stems from.
Track one, “Intro,” becomes the instrumental ballad for the entire album. It sets the tone with instrumental undertones and before you can blink, you have already moved into the next track, “Skydiving.” This track sets a tone of spontaneity even and uncertainty. “You got me skydiving…never stop never slow down,” is a phrase repeated to represent the naturalness and excitement she may be feeling.
The third track, “Until the Light” definitely opens another theme of this album: feeling free and powerful when the sun goes down. Lights sings, “So cut the headlights/ Keep rolling till the sun…it’s easy pretending we’re alright/ ‘Cause we live free.” Here, it is evident that something is going on in either her personal life or on the planet in general. The comics do suggest much disrupt in society; inferring this to be her way of escaping from responsibilities.
Other tracks that follow this theme include “We Were Here” and “Moonshine,” where messages of self-illumination and freedom are embodied within the pieces.
“Savage” touches on a different aspect of her life, and perhaps in a negative way. “I should have known when you sent me under,” describes her overall anger in a past relationship or a rough patch of her current marriage. She is being transparent here, an example of the truth sometimes hurting.
“Morphine” highlights both the physical and emotional aspects of Lights’ current marriage. This lover has been a stress-reliever and someone to make life worth living for. For whatever reason, this relationship seems to be working as he seems to “Take the burn away” from her.
Another ballad that embodies her happiness and motivation of making something out of herself is “Giants.” She sings of escaping from her current location to a place where “we could be giants bigger than the walls that hide us.” There is much to believe in for this talented artist, and it is a good thing that she is able to see that in herself as well.
Skin&Earth is a great breakthrough for Lights. She does a great job at constructing the album to flow beautifully, highlighting all the aspects of her life in an incredibly honest way.