As an enthusiast of both head-bobbing beats and chill, relaxed melodies, Little Machines satisfies both of my musical preferences in one single album. Little Machines, LIGHTS’ third album impressively combines synthetic sounds with catchy lyrics.
Although electropop may sometimes sound like a “middle school music phase,” LIGHTS gives this genre new life and modern relevance. I have been a fan of her ever since I heard her song, “Where The Fence is Low” (my sophomore year’s anthem) but with the release of her new album, this is the first time I can say that I love all of the songs on the track list. From “Portal” to “Don’t Go Home Without Me,” I found myself easily listening to all of the songs, enjoying and really engaging with every single one of them.
The album begins with the song “Portal,” light percussion and bass with an emphasis on vocals. The song begins lightly, another slight cadence added little by little until her voice comes in. At once, you feel fully immersed in the lyrics. To me, this is the kind of song that I can listen to with my eyes closed, fully captivated by the blended layers of instruments, a background chorus and powerful lead vocals.
Specifically, the album’s single, “Up We Go” is one of the standout songs. Utilizing catchy rhythms and simple percussion, she sings about facing a long, hard run but continuing to rise above. The catchy lyrics — “its been a hard year, and I only know, from down this low, its only up we go” — are so easily relatable, too. Can you see yourself singing this at the top of your lungs after a long day? I definitely can.
The last track “Don’t Go Home Without Me,” is my personal favorite. LIGHTS approaches the typical “love song” in a new way, convincing me to have a wow-I want-to-fall-in-love-and-grow-old-with-you attitude. As soon as the song begins, you hear a light thumping along with, “this is the song I will song to you when you’re old and tired, I will sing it to remind you that I’m old beside you.” Again, this is another song that starts with a simple, light beat so that the emphasis is put on the vocals. Great stuff. Could “Don’t Go Home Without Me” possibly be my new sophomore year anthem? Probably.
Overall, I would say that Little Machines impressively surpasses all of LIGHTS’ past albums. From beginning to end, each song captivated me with its catchy beats and memorable lyrics. Although there are some ongoing patterns and themes on this track list, each song brings a unique sound to the entire album. I guess you could say that each song is like a bolt or screw in this “little machine”.
April Jingco / Kalua Pork Bowl Connoisseur / KXSU Reporter