It was back in 2007 that White Lies formed from the ashes of Fear of Flying, a band whom began to increasingly write songs that they felt just didn’t suit their style. In 2009 they released their debut album, To Lose My Life…, followed in 2011 by sophomore Ritual, my personal favourite and arguably the band’s most successful record; spawning huge tracks such as ‘Bigger Than Us’ and cementing the band alongside the likes of Editors, whom they are often compared to. The band utilise a strong indie/80s sound, lead by the impressive vocals of Harry McVeigh.
In our interview with indie rockers White Lies, frontman Harry McVeigh told that, “With us, we’ve stuck to the course. We haven’t necessarily grown any bigger, but we haven’t gone anywhere at the same time. We still attract new people.” This was evidently clear with their Concorde 2 show – the first date of their huge UK tour in support of their brand-new album Five – where they showcased an awesome exhibition of their entire catalogue to an extremely passionate crowd both young and old.
Brit band White Lies are one of those bands who have quietly achieved a lot of success. Their debut album made it to the top of the charts, back in 2009, and ten years later they are about to release their fifth album, Five. A classic sounding epic guitar-synth band, Charles Cave, Jack Lawrence-Brown, and Harry McVeigh met whist still at school, eventually forming Fear of Flying. Jack had set up the indie label Chess Club, and Fear of Flying achieved some early success, before they decided that they needed a new name, to reflect their maturation into adulthood. White Lies was the result. Harry took some time out to discuss the new album, San Francisco, the name change, and those early beginnings.
Entitled Five, the West London band White Lies will be releasing their new (and fifth) album on 1st February 2019. In the meantime you can enjoy the seven-minute epic that is 'Time To Give'. “This is a milestone record for White Lies," say the three-piece. "It marks our decade as a band, which has pushed us to expand our sound and reach new territory artistically. It marks the start of a new and exciting chapter for us."
Returning to their hometown on a Saturday night was visibly a big deal for White Lies. Despite the dark aesthetics and morbid topics of their songs, the band couldn’t hide their joy at playing this grand, full to-the-brim East London venue. After catching them numerous times during their first two records, I was interested to see if the band had retained the raw emotion and epic nature of those early shows. I wasn’t disappointed.
The euphoric choruses, big hooks and pulsating rhythms are tailor-made for a live environment, with the three-piece well aware of this. A decade of touring seems to have taught them which song elements to hold back on, which to elongate and when to explore. They’ve gradually turned into masters of their craft.
Regardless of their sonic output, I have an odd attachment to White Lies. Back in September 2008 my worried parents were driving the increasingly anxious 19-year-old me up the M5. I was embarking on a journey to start university in Bristol and with early single ‘Death’ blaring into my earphones, it perfectly encapsulated how I was feeling at that very moment. “I love the dreaming when I think of/The safety in the clouds outside my window”, “Relax, yes I’m trying/But fear’s got a hold on me.” It was as if every lyric had been personally written to cater for my emotional needs during that distinct migration period.