No. 23: Santogold, “Lights Out”

“L.E.S. Artistes” may be the punchy, widely hyped lead track on Santogold’s self-titled debut, but the real gem of the album is “Lights Out.” There’s an effortless appeal about the song that both enhances and downplays its greatness. Singer Santi White’s breezy vocals drift over the hefty bass line, while other hooky background elements—a fuzzy guitar riff, some floating backup harmonies—weave in and out of the track, creating an irresistible, almost maddening pop song.

But for all its strictly sonic goodies, perhaps the most appealing thing about “Lights Out” is its lack of grating Brooklyn-ness. The band’s home borough certainly shows through in the album’s numerous art-rock moments, but “Lights Out” is a safe zone—it’s tinged by the innate smartness that spans Kings County, but not spoiled by its pretension.

Ed. note: We’d be remiss not to mention the Bud Lime commercial:

Santogold [MySpace]
“Lights Out” [YouTube]
80 ’08 (and heartbreak)

  • Chris Molanphy

    I put this on my Summer mix, before it was even tapped as a single, and I’m mystified it didn’t become her radio breakthrough.

  • Lucas Jensen

    I like it, but I still like L.E.S. Artistes better.

  • bcapirigi

    This song is wonderful. And also the chorus reminds me of Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac, which is also awesome.

  • Nunya B

    I want to be one of her backup dancers (I call them the Golden Girls) so very badly.

  • Defenestrated

    I agree with Lucas. I think it might just be the bud lime.

  • Poubelle

    This has been my absolute favorite track on the album since my first listen. Glad to see it here, and relative high, too.

  • Nadine

    Genuinely when someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to other viewers that they will help, so here it takes place.