Audioicide is no laughing matter.
So, when Lights smothered her creations, sending them into the sweet bliss of eternity, you know it was for a damn good reason. Already that metaphor has made me feel ill so I’m going to leave that there and give it straight: Lights has announced the new album dEd, a reimagined version of her 2022 album PƎP set for release Friday, 7th April.
R.I.P PƎP, we hardly knew ye…could be transformed from a thumping house party into a stormy moment of solitude. Lights has given us a glimpse into how the record plays in The Upside Down, revealing a sombre version of ‘Voices Carry’, once a Cumulus cloud, now a hazy fog. Granted, PƎP was never one thing and thus it’s counterpart won’t be either, what we can confirm from the debut single is that dEd will punch a whole right through us with fewer distractions from the deeply personal stories told within.
For fans of Lights, a reimagined album has become somewhat of a rite of passage, with 2011’s Siberia, 2014’s Little Machines and 2017’s Skin and Earth all being tranformed into acoustic wonders after the fact. PƎP was not your usual Lights album, and therefore required a more unique stripped back translation. Lights explained her reasoning:
“After each of my last four albums I’ve released acoustic counterparts – it’s something that fans expect at this point. But PƎP never felt like an acoustic thing to me. I actually haven’t picked up my acoustic guitar in a long time, it’s just not right for this era. PƎP is alt, hyper and vibrantly sarcastic, visually extravagant and exaggerated in all forms, so I wanted its counterpart to be the absolute opposite: dark, chill and electronic. I enjoyed really developing my production toolset, digging into the chill step genre, using heavy bass tones set on dreamy soundscapes. If PƎP is for dancing and feeling yourself, dEd is for driving and making out. After all, dEd is PƎP turned PƎP down—even the tracklist is reversed.”
Speaking on ‘Voices Carry (dEd version),’ Lights added, “‘Voices Carry’ was actually one of the more challenging PƎP songs to adapt to a chill version because it’s fairly low key in its original form. I decided that in this case, less is more and used very few tracks, focusing on simple electronic elements, deep sub and dreamy pads, letting the vocals shine like the lyric wants.”
Out of all the beloved founding figures of the scene we all know and love, Lights has enjoyed one of the most interesting archs from bedroom artist to comic-book-releasing-theatre-filler. Funnily enough, that entire arch is documented at break-neck speed in the Okay Okay clip. Now with yet another creative leap we see that this is one artist who is yet to reach their final form.