Electro-pop star Lights had been progressively amping up the electro part, culminating in "Siberia," her gold-selling, album-length collaboration with live electronic act Holy Fuck. But her new release, "Siberia Acoustic," takes the pixie-sized singer in an entirely different direction.
As Lights explained in a recent Huffington Post blog, this acoustic album is what she hopes she'll "get to play at the end of the world."
To achieve this, Lights enlisted Coeur de Pirate, Owl City and Max Kerman from The Arkells to help sing on the album, which this time she self-produced. Coincidentally, we've got an intimate behind-the-scenes clip of Lights and Kerman working on their version of "Siberia's" title track in the studio.
"Max is a blast, such a natural performer," Lights tells HuffPost Canada Music. "We pretty much worked out our parts and recorded the track all live off the floor. There were jokes and looks all the way through it. Those details make this feel so far from work."
The Beatles "Good Day Sunshine"
The definitive feel-good pop song, the most chipper track from "Revolver" will make you feel good in a special way. Like, we’re pretty sure it’s physically impossible to be in a bad mood while listening to a two-minute nursery rhyme about being in love when the sun is out. SCIENCE.
Len "Steal My Sunshine"
Len achieved one-hit wonder status with this "Call Me Maybe"-level catchy hit that blared out of rolled-down car windows everywhere during the summer of 1999. "Steal My Sunshine" scored the Toronto band a Juno nod and remains one of the CanRock canon’s catchiest. (Seriously. It’ll be in your head all day. You’re welcome.)
TV On The Radio "Staring At The Sun"
The lead single from TV On The Radio’s groundbreaking (and excellently titled) 2004 debut, "Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes," isn’t as sunny as our first two entries, but it’s hotter than hell. Tunde Adebimpe’s falsetto combined with thick, hazy distorted guitar loops and a propulsive, fuzzed-out bass line sounds like bliss to us.
Violent Femmes "Blister In The Sun"
Violent Femmes’ jittery 1983 single — and possible ode to masturbation — has been in a ton of commercials, movie trailers and films thanks to that instantly recognizable, fits-and-starts guitar riff. An indie classic.
Sex Pistols "Holidays In The Sun"
This is the best-blasted-loud, beers-in-the-air punk rock anthem made for summertime hooliganism after a winter stuck indoors. An advance single for the Sex Pistols’ only studio album, 1977’s highly influential "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols," “Holidays In The Sun” is actually about the band’s formative trip to Berlin — not exactly a city known for its sunny disposition, but whatever. Sid Vicious’ wan complexion probably couldn’t handle the Maldives.
Weezer "Island In The Sun"
One of Weezer’s biggest singles and the ultimate song about getting away from it all, 2004’s idyllic "Island In The Sun" will make you feel so fine you can’t control your brain. The lyrics are hopelessly romantic and the cinematic swell in the chorus will make your heart explode.
Broken Social Scene "Looks Just Like The Sun"
"Looks Just Like The Sun," from Broken Social Scene’s 2002 landmark album, You Forgot It In People, is light and airy, like a light spring breeze through linen curtains. Beautiful vocal interplay between Scenesters Andrew Whiteman and Lisa Lobsinger layered over discordant guitar makes for a daydreamy listen.
Limblifter Wake Up To The Sun"
It’s little wonder that this single off the Vancouver indie rock outfit’s 2000 sophomore album "Bellaclava" got traction on radio; the brothers Dahle know how to write a sublime chorus. It sounds like swimming pools and sun-dappled backyards. If that was a sound.
The Weakerthans "Sun In An Empty Room"
One of the Winnipeg punk-rock poets’ most poignant, this is a bittersweet song about leaving behind our old apartments and moving on. Only John K. Samson could find the simple beauty in “parallelograms of light/on walls that we repainted white.” Fitting for a season of renewal and new beginnings.
Fleet Foxes "Sun It Rises"
The psychedelic lead track on the Seattle indie folk outfit’s 2008 self-titled debut is appropriately awash in golden, resplendent harmonies. Robin Pecknold’s voice is the aural equivalent of a sunbeam.
Death Cab For Cutie "No Sunlight"
This driving indie rocker is filtered through the Polaroid lens of nostalgia, longing for a simpler time when you could lay carelessly in the grass in a warming bath of sunlight under “fast open skies that could do no harm/like an embrace from mother’s arms.”
The Strokes "Evening Sun"
This wistful slow-burner off 2006’s maligned "First Impressions Of Earth" is one of The Strokes’ many great lyrical achievements, heavy with the weariness of young adulthood but fraught with nervous, adolescent emotion. “All actors they're pretending/And singers they sometimes lie/Oh kids are always honest/Cause they don't think they're ever gonna die/You're the prettiest smartest captain of the team/ I love you more than being 17.”
Best Coast "When The Sun Don't Shine"
Despite its definite unrequited love bent, this reverb-drenched surf-pop track sounds like summer — from Bethany Cosentino’s girl-group coo to the languid guitars. Lazy and hazy in all the right ways.
Wilco "Sonny Feeling"
This classic rock-indebted band jam from "Wilco: The Album" — the happiest Wilco album — bursts with all kinds of sunny feelings thanks to a joyous chorus and the sense that the band is really letting loose. Also: who doesn’t love a good pun?
Donovan "Sunshine Superman"
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this one. Donovan’s sexy 1966 psych-pop classic one of the most defining of the decade. And two members of Zeppelin play on it. Enough said.
Mos Def "Sunshine"
Produced by Kanye West, this chilled-out hip-hop track from one of the genre’s heavyweights has a welcome old-school grit, a big fat beat and a note-perfect sample of R&B singer Melba Moore’s 1970 hit, “The Flesh Failures/Let The Sun Shine In.”
The Chemical Brothers "Setting Sun"
This single from the British electronica duo’s benchmark 1997 sophomore album "Dig Your Own Hole" is a relentless rave-up that features Noel Gallagher on vocals and a drum loop that bears a striking resemblance to The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Not so sunny, perhaps, but this song is a '90s gem.
Lupe Fiasco "Sunshine"
The agile Chicago MC boasts a peanut-butter smooth flow on this laid-back, coolly confident single from his whipsmart, career-making 2006 debut "Food & Liquor," one of the best hip-hop albums of the 2000s. It still sounds spring fresh almost seven years later.
The Beach Boys "Sunshine"
The Beach Boys are practically synonymous with the sun. This confectionery California dream boasts shimmering harmonies and an earworm dum-dum-dum-de-dum-de-do hook. Your troubles will evaporate listening to this one.
The Flaming Lips "Sun Blows Up Today"
The frenetic new single from the fearless freaks’ forthcoming album "The Terror," due out April 2 is a manic, psychedelic explosion of childlike energy that perfectly marries The Lips’ experimental leanings with their undeniable pop sensibility. No wonder it’s already been featured in a car commercial.