No. 23: Santogold, “Lights Out”

Kate Richardson | December 24, 2008 - 11:00 am

“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)