Friday, October 30, 2020

MEET... White Lies

Remember waaay back when jumping, clapping, and dancing to the beat of the music in an overcrowded room was still allowed? White Lies performances across the UK, Europe and North America have certainly provided plenty of opportunities for punk music enthusiasts to do exactly that over the last decade.

White Lies gig at The Vega, Copenhagen - 6th November 2009.

While ‘White Lies’ officially debuted in 2009, they had already performed as a band for years prior under the name ‘Fear of Flying’ and had attended gigs across the UK as a supporting act. The band felt that their songs held no meaning to them, there was no emotional attachment on their part to the lyrics they were writing. From this dissatisfaction; White Lies was born.

Their debut album ‘To Lose my Life...’, which peaked the UK album chart in 2009, gave us some of their best and darkest work. The theme of love and loss ripples through the album and is a recurring subject from the outset, they’re most prominently covered in ‘Farewell to the Fairground’. Harry McVie’s impressive vocals race alongside the guitar and bass; the higher tempo emphasising the songs premise of chasing their dream and moving on from a place once revered with childlike enthusiasm. The track outlines the trio’s desire to begin something new and achieve their goals even if it means saying farewell.

Who would have thought a song titled ‘Death’ would still be one of the bands most popular songs to date? The track compares a new relationship to that of flying in a plane; so wonderful and beautiful but one crash could be deadly for all involved. The drum beat pulses through the song like a heartbeat as if it were bringing the track to life.

Charles Cave once said that the former band ‘Fear or Flying’ sang only “semi- comical stories that weren't really important to anyone” which is hard to imaging given White Lies willingness to expose their innermost thoughts and feelings with their music. Cave's bass lines resonate through the album as if duetting with McVie, the guitar setting the tone and pace for each track. The punk styling and gripping lyrics contrasted heavily against the constant droning of the late naughties pop and emerging rap scene.

A decade after White Lies’ introduction, their fifth and newest album ‘FIVE’ was released. The subject of their art has not changed, only the method of delivery - the track ‘Tokyo’ describes an emotional numbness and the inability to appreciate new experiences. The same verses are repeated over and over and over and over in an attempt to lyrically share that numbness; the upbeat instrumentals however keep the track lively and engaging. FIVE’s use of synthesisers are reminiscent of the 80’s, the new wave style adopted by the band shouldn’t work in theory and yet somehow works perfectly with the heavy vocals.

Since FIVE’s release in February this year the band’s social pages have been very quiet, though they have confirmed performances for the summer of 2021. The band are set to perform in Croatia’s INmusic festival alongside The Killers, The Lumineers, and more. The Netherlands ‘Bospop’ will have White Lies join the likes of folk rock artist Passenger and punk rock legend Sting before they return to the UK for the Bingley Weekender in August.

With this lineup of festivals, White Lies is set to have a good summer. Tickets for all events are available to buy online now!

- Molly Stone



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