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Lights first cracked the Canadian charts in May 2008, when the debut single "Drive My Soul" introduced her synthesis of youthful, sellable alt-rock and contemporary synth pop. Born in April 1987 in Timmins, Ontario, Valerie Poxleitner spent her childhood traveling alongside her missionary parents. She also took up songwriting at an early age, using verses from the Bible to prompt titles for her new material. She began writing music for Sony/ATV Music Publishing at the age of 18; shortly thereafter, however, she ditched the behind-the-scenes gig and hit the road with her own instruments, playing shows in the Great Lakes region and eventually landing a contract with the Toronto-based punk label Underground Operations. An American partnership with Doghouse Records followed, and the young songwriter issued her first recording, the self-titled Lights EP, in April 2008. Several singles found a warm reception on Canadian radio outlets, while Lights' vibrant attire and good looks made her an endearing presence on MuchMusic's TV countdown. Early the following year, Lights won a Juno Award for New Artist of the Year and landed a spot on that summer's Warped Tour, all the while preparing her debut album, The Listening, which was released in October 2009. In 2011, Lights returned with the more mature, sonically sophisticated album Siberia. Two years later, Lights delivered Siberia Acoustic, which featured her performing reworked acoustic versions of songs off Siberia. In 2014, Lights released her third studio album, Little Machines, which showcased a return to a more stripped-down and melodic, if no less electronic-inclined, sound.