Lights That Change is a dream pop duo from Mold, North Wales. They’re made up of Lisa Von H on vocals and Marc Joy on guitars, bass, drum machine, and other programming stuff. It’s pretty obvious that some of their key influences are Cocteau Twins and The Cure.
Joy was busy producing and recording some other projects when he launched Lights That Change as a solo recording project. He knew Lisa and had worked with her on some other stuff, including some of her solo recordings. Sometime in 2012, he decided to recruit her for the LTC project, and they stayed really busy in 2013. It looks like they released two singles and an EP last year, and I have to think that they’re working on a full-length album.
I found out about this band when I was snooping around some other music blogs. This one pointed me to LTC.
After listening to a few of their songs, I went and bought a digital download of the Rainbow on Your Shoulder EP, and this is my favorite song from it.
“Toxic” by Lights That Change
The bass line is pretty clean and simple, but foggy. In a way that reminds me of the very distinctive, dark, even ominous bass sound on Disintegration. The bright, shimmering, heavily delayed guitars remind me of some late-era Cocteaus stuff. Although the vocals are in plain English, Lisa Von H’s singing style and the lyrics themselves remind me of something that Liz Fraser would have been doing also in the very late stages of the Cocteaus. Not her sound, but her style. Think Four Calendar Cafe. Think specifically of “Bluebeard”.
As a side note, everybody knows that I’m a huge Cocteaus fan and that I’ve only recently changed my favourite Cocteaus album from Heaven or Las Vegas to Treasure. Everybody also knows that I’ve always regarded the post-Liz and Robin breakup stuff as “lesser Cocteaus”. However, I recently revisited Four Calendar Cafe for the first time in a long time. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it just by taking it out of the context of the whole Cocteaus body of work. As a free-standing album, it’s pretty great.
Anyway, I’m reminded a lot of late Cocteaus, and that’s a pretty good thing to be reminded of.
You can buy a download of the five-song Rainbow on Your Shoulder EP for £2 (or about $3.25 USD) from the bandcamp page here.