After a crunchy introduction to the masses on her highly acclaimed sophomore effort, 2011’s Siberia, Lights bounced back in 2014 with a more polished version of her new-wave pop in Little Machines. With a cog literally painted on her face on the album cover, she seems to be openly grinding out more radio-friendly output like the huge lead single “Up We Go,” flashing smart pop sensibilities like she’s Charli XCX’s much sweeter little sister. (That sweetness became literal when fro-yo chain Menchies named a limited cookie-inspired flavor for Lights in Canada stores only called “Up We Dough.”) Little Machines is obsessed with maintaining the melody in true party anthem form, but it’s not all pure pop mechanics, as she taps into more vulnerable, tender terrain on downtrodden tracks like “Oil and Water” and album opener “Portal.”
LIGHTS with X Ambassadors 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24 | The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave. | 407-246-1419 | thebeacham.com | $17-$20
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