About White Lies
A dark-edged trio hailing from London, White Lies take sonic cues from the likes of Joy Division, the Teardrop Explodes, and Echo & the Bunnymen. Indeed, the three musicians, who first emerged in 2008, are so committed to the U.K.'s post-punk scene that they signed with Fiction Records, a Polydor imprint best known for its '80s releases by the Cure and the Associates. Heralded by the single "Death," the band's 2009 debut To Lose My Life... hit number one in the U.K. They have continued to build upon their post-punk sound with albums like 2011's Ritual, and 2016's Friends.
While attending school in West London, singer/guitarist Harry McVeigh, bassist/lyricist Charles Cave, and drummer/keyboardist Jack Lawrence-Brown formed the group in 2004 under the name Fear of Flying. After releasing two neo-Brit-pop singles on the Young and Lost Club label in 2006 -- "Routemaster" (produced by Brit-pop mainstay Stephen Street) and "Three's a Crowd" -- the trio changed musical directions, adopted a new name, adapted a more somber group persona, and began creating doomy material like the funereal murder ballad "Unfinished Business" and the self-explanatory "Death."
Following the release of the Nick Cave-like "Unfinished Business" in April 2008, the trio made their television debut on Later with Jools Holland and began recording a debut album with producers Ed Buller and Max Dingel. "Death" was released as a single in September 2008, coinciding with the trio's first headlining tour of the U.K. The band released their debut full-length, To Lose My Life..., the following year. The album debuted at number one on the U.K. charts. The band set off on a dizzying world tour, crossing the U.S., Europe, and Japan and hitting major festivals like Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, and Coachella along the way. With such a rigorous touring schedule, the bandmembers found writing difficult, but they eventually made it back into the studio after doing a stadium tour in support of Muse. Finally able to record, White Lies released their second album, Ritual, in early 2011. Buoyed by the single "Bigger Than Us," the album hit number three in the U.K. and reached number 14 on the Billboard Top Alternative Albums chart stateside.
In 2013, after an extended hiatus from touring and recording, White Lies returned with their third studio effort, Big TV. The album found the band reuniting with producer Buller, and featured the singles "There Goes Our Love Again" and "First Time Caller." Big TV was well received and hit number four on the U.K. album charts. It would be a further three-year wait until the trio's fourth effort, 2016's Friends. The band self-produced the album, which was recorded at Bryan Ferry's private studio in Kensington, West London. A European tour was scheduled in the autumn and winter of the same year to promote the new record. The aptly titled Five arrived in early 2019 and featured production and mixing contributions by Ed Buller and Alan Moulder. ~ Stewart Mason