The Saturdays started production of their debut album in May 2008 while supporting Girls Aloud—with whom they shared the same record label—on their Tangled Up Tour. The Saturdays were also reportedly offered the chance to record songs rejected by Girls Aloud. Band member Mollie King told the Daily Star, "We all thought it was a bit of a cheek. Why would we want their rejects? [...] It's bad enough with all the comparisons being made." The last track of Chasing Lights, "Why Me, Why Now", was originally a demo written and recorded by Alex Cartana, but later picked up by The Saturdays. Unlike on their subsequent albums, the members of The Saturdays have no writing credits on the record.
Chasing Lights received a remarkably positive reception from music critics. Often being compared to other British female acts such as the Sugababes and Girls Aloud, they have been praised for their debut album.
The Saturdays have carved out an enviable niche for themselves with this consistently enjoyable debut album. Their sassy, modern, chart-ready pop is more straightforward than most Girls Aloud singles and younger than the music Sugababes are now recording. The world, or at least the top ten, should be their oyster.
Some critics even referred to Chasing Lights as "A definite contender for pop album of the year." Most also appreciated the fact that The Saturdays were able to be in the same league as their fellow UK pop acts after less than a year of being together. The album was number four on Popjustice's 2008 year-end chart of the best albums.
In the UK, Chasing Lights debuted at number eleven while in Ireland it debuted at number forty-nine. By April 2009, the album reached a new peak of number thirty-four in Ireland. The album climbed from number fourteen to number nine on 25 January 2009, marking the album's first time inside the UK top ten. The album was certified Platinum in the UK on 6 November 2009.
"If This Is Love", released digitally on 27 July 2008, is the album's lead single. It was released commercially in the UK on 28 July, through digital and physical distribution. The song hit number eight on the UK Singles Chart and became their first top ten hit.
"Up", released digitally on 12 October 2008, is the album's second single. It was released commercially in the UK on 13 October, through digital and physical distribution. The song hit number five on the UK Singles Chart, becoming their second consecutive top ten hit, and debuted at number eleven on the Irish Singles Chart. "Up" is the group's debut single in Brazil.
"Issues", released officially on 5 January 2009, is the album's third single. It was released commercially in the UK on 5 January after spending a few weeks in the top forty. The song hit number six on the UK Singles Chart and became their third consecutive top ten hit. The following week it climbed to number four.
"Just Can't Get Enough", a Comic Relief single not originally on the album, was released on 2 March 2009. The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number two on 8 March 2009. It was kept off the number-one spot by Flo Rida's "Right Round". On the Irish Singles Chart, the song debuted at number seventeen. The following week, it climbed to number nine and peaked at number six becoming their first top ten and highest-charting single yet in Ireland.
"Work" was announced in January 2009 as the fifth single to be released from the album. It was a fan-favourite since the release of the album, and was released in the UK on 29 June 2009 but only peaked on the UK Singles Chart at number twenty-two. This remained their lowest charting single until "What Are You Waiting For" charted at number thirty-eight in 2014.