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Lead To Light

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Album Review

Los Angeles alt-rock trio Nico Vega set their sights on pop stardom, enlisting multiple producers to help craft their hooky second album Lead to Light. In the five years since their 2009 self-titled debut, they've added a pair of EPs to their catalog, which saw their evolution from jagged-edged, guitar-based rockers to more of a pop act with an attitude. As before, the entry point for Nico Vega is the intense voice of singer Aja Volkman, who vamps, howls, and coos throughout this varied, 15-track set. Tapping Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds to co-write and produce the fun, riffy lead single "I Believe (Get Over Yourself)" along with the Blondie-esque party anthem "I'm on Fire," they've traded in some of their snarl for more charming melodic fare in search of a hit. Much of Lead to Light follows suit with the Tony Hoffer (Beck, M83)-produced tracks "No Home" and "Back of My Hand" tapping into the contemporary pop zeitgeist with a couple of the album's more enjoyable and melodic songs. Tim Edgar produced the remaining 11 cuts, several of which harken back to their edgier sounding early work ("Fury Oh Fury" and "Lightning"), while others like "Good" and "Lucky One" lean more on low-key, atmospheric moodiness. A big standout is the late album track "Easier," which exudes power and confidence, melding a sort of Siouxsie Sioux electro-goth with classic Bunnymen guitar tones. Along with the ethereal, similarly goth-influenced "Protest Song," these deeper cuts are among the best on an album that offers a bit of variety. [Lead to Light was also released with three bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews


I happened upon this band by accident, and I'm glad I did. They are fantastic . I'm obsessed!!!!


Nico Vega is the bomb. Com, I have loved these guys for almost a year now so happy about this new album :-)

Incredible Band

I have been waiting forever for this album to arrive. Ever since I found out about this band I haven't been able to get enough. All the songs are great, even the ones they have previously released on the EP


Formed: 2005 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An edgy but commercial indie rock outfit with pop instincts and a theatrical streak, Nico Vega were formed in 2005 by Aja Volkman, a singer and songwriter from Eugene, Oregon who had come to Valencia, California to study acting at the California Institute of the Arts. After a few months, Volkman decided she was more interested in music than acting (she'd been writing songs since she was in high school), so she dropped out of CalArts to focus on her career as a vocalist. After playing a solo gig in...
Full Bio
Lead To Light, Nico Vega
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Customer Ratings