Review: LIGHTS – Skin & Earth (Issues One & Two)

Imagine a world where you fear being yourself. Every day, you live your life with the values and morals that someone else has forced you into. Because you’re “lower-class,” you’re forced to wear a mask with a smile because you’re not allowed to show your emotions. Meanwhile, a pharmaceutical company has taken control of the drug market with the explosion of a “pink pill” that puts you into a state of complete euphoria, forgetting about the chaos that is unfolding right in front of your eyes. After awhile, you begin to observe and realize that something is going on that they don’t want you to look into, know or talk about. People begin disappearing, without any explanation or warning… and they’re all people who have had to fight for their survival.

Welcome to the world that Canadian electropop artist, LIGHTS, has created with the impending release of her new studio album, Skin & Earth, with the help of Dynamite Comics. Wanting more than just a concept album, she decided to take her love of comic books and create a visual experience with this album. This past July, we saw the release of Skin & Earth: Issue One, which introduced us to our unlikely heroin, En and her love interest, Priest. Through this issue, we’re taken through a small sample of what En has to live through, being from the “Red Sector,” going to school in the “Pink Sector” and just how much things have changed in the world. While, at this point, it’s unclear what happened to the world that they live in… it’s clear that things have become worse than anyone could imagine. Skin & Earth: Issue Two is where we begin to see why En has isolated herself, as she begins to question the things that are going on around her. She’s heard and read about people from the Red Sector disappearing, cults and shrines that are popping up everywhere and just how much effect the “little pink pill” has on society… and she wants to get to the bottom of it. After an exciting encounter, Priest decides that En doesn’t need him… nor does she need the tattoo that they got together. Enraged and confused, she’s deadset on finding out what’s going on and why Priest decided to end their relationship, after it was going so well. The final frames of the issue show her progress through the stages of grief, first standing at “Borscht-in-a-Box” where she reminds herself of the “little things” in life. Her face is tear-stained, there’s a look of pure betrayal in her eyes and she returns home to sulk and ponder on what went wrong.

Just two issues into a six-issue comic book series, LIGHTS, has already created an emotional connection to readers. This is especially true for those who feel outcast in society. What’s even more spooky is how similar this world is to our own. She’s diving deep into important issues that we face, while also creating a captivating narrative that is sure to keep the reader at the edge of their seat. Tomorrow, she will release one of two songs that connect with issue two, “Savage” which features Josh Dun (Twenty One Pilots) on drums. In addition to that, she has finally announced that the album, Skin & Earth, will be released on September 22nd, with pre-orders coming tonight (8/11) at midnight PST via the following locationSkin & Earth: Issue Three will be released on September 13th, while the three remaining will be released before the end of the year. For now, you can check out the first two singles, “Giants,” (ties into Issue Five) and “Skydiving” (Issue One) below. For more Skin & Earth fun, you can visit the world on Instagram, where she continuously unlocks new locations and, sometimes, clips of new music.