Valerie Lighthart teams with Solana for a theatrical pop confection

Valerie Lighthart teams with Solana for a theatrical pop confection

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Every week, 88Nine brings you a fresh track from a Milwaukee artist. They send it to us. We post it here. You hear it before everyone else.

For this week’s premiere, we’ve got a cotton candy-flavored ear worm from Valerie Lighthart. She’s joined by Atlanta R&B singer Solana on “Love & Money,” a giddy number that draws from decades of French pop while dissecting stereotypes about femininity. Stream and read about the track below.

Valerie Lighthart | Photo credit: Ryan Yatso
Valerie Lighthart – “Love & Money”

Artist’s statement

The recording experience was so surprising and wonderful. I worked with Timothy Wolf from Four Giants to cultivate a soundscape that felt theatrical, over-the-top, and immersive at the same time. When Solana came in to track vocals with Jesse Carl at the N43 Records studio, I was baffled by her professionalism, fun-loving energy, and dedication to her craft. She had written a powerful, dynamic, and intense verse and she recorded it with passion and a really acute ear for helping it come to life as well as possible. 

Following up the single, we recorded a music video at the Miramar Theatre to release in a few weeks. The visual is a celebration of femininity, including a diverse group of femmes expressing themselves through dance on a stage decorated like a Renaissance forest scene. The costuming is based on modern interpretations of folkloric moon goddess myths, as well as peppered with aesthetic elements that harken back to the Georgian era, which is an artistically rich time in history that showcased the ornamentation of women in ways that still ring true today. 

The lyrics of the song use folkloric elements as a vehicle for a closer look at pop representation. For the trio of EPs, I’ve invented three characters who offer caricatures of femininity – Love & Money’s protagonist is a moon goddess and an embrace and reclamation of the things women are vilified and condemned for. She begins the story with emphatic self-love and an open nature. In the future releases, her journey will follow her into the murky territories of the Witch and the Banshee, showcasing the different historical positions and persecutions of women through mythic characters. 

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