PEP

Lights

PEP

“I’m too busy dancing to the drum in my head,” Lights sings on her fifth full-length album, a fitting declaration for an artist who’s always followed her muse wherever it leads, and who’s always taken her time to get her hybrid sound just right. PEP is the Ontario-bred singer’s first proper album in five years, and its epic opener, “Beside Myself,” is the sound of all that pent-up energy being released in a grand, wide-screen display. From there, Lights resumes her expertly executed tightrope walk between alt-rock and dance-pop, reconnecting with former collaborator Josh Dun of twenty one pilots for the future-funk of “In My Head” and fellow Canadian singer Kiesza for the club-thumping blues/trap mash-up of “Money in the Bag.” But, as ever, Lights’ radiant vocals—powered by equal doses of attitude and vulnerability—serve as the connective tissue between her genre-bounding adventures. And there’s no greater showcase for them than the aptly titled “Voices Carry,” which isn’t a cover of the ’Til Tuesday standard but belongs to a similar late-’80s milieu, yielding a heart-racing pop anthem that sounds like it’s beaming in from some parallel-universe John Hughes soundtrack.

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