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Single Review: White Lies – Time to Give

 
By on Tuesday, 9th October 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

I’m a few weeks late in reviewing the latest new material from West London’s gloom and doom guys White Lies. In hindsight, it’s probably a good thing, given that the single is over 7 and a half minutes long and acts like a play with three parts. Really. The release of this single coincided with the announcement of their next album, their fifth, unimaginatively titled ‘Five’, out in early 2019. The press release for ‘Time to Give’ includes the following quote from the band: “This is a milestone record for White Lies. 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.” Colour me intrigued. With such a long track as their first statement made on the upcoming record, maybe it’s a sign they’re heading into prog territory? But let’s get down to the review first, shall we?

Listeners will focus on an insistent, almost ghostly, repetitive synth note progression early on in ‘Time to Give’. The lyrics in the chorus are heartfelt, from a man trying to convince his partner who wants to leave to change her mind and stay: “If you’ve got the mind to leave / Then pick a topic to talk about / God knows I’ve time to give / You’ve got the backbone to stick around”. After an icy instrumental break, these are some of Harry McVeigh’s most vulnerable, honest vocals to date: “I know the theme / Luck has never been into me / I’m a catch to pain / And you dress the scars to proof”.

A much longer instrumental break follows, the volume and complexity of the instrumentation both increasing towards a crescendo. If the song ended when reaching this peak, it would have totally made sense, given the height of emotion conveyed through McVeigh’s vocals. Instead of closing out the song, McVeigh’s voice comes back into the mix, a man shouting against a wall of sound and stabs of synths, an insurmountable goal as stopping a lover from leaving him for good. The song ends with a continuation of the cacophony, McVeigh’s cynicism a resignation to the fact that no matter the ‘Time to Give’ and all that you offer, sometimes it’s just not enough. Emotionally, Charles Cave has written a grand opus, but does this mean we’ll be receiving a whole album of tracks like this in the new year? Could be a bit much, am I right?

7.5/10

‘Time to Give’, the newest single from White Lies, is out now on PIAS. ‘Five’ will be released on the 1st of February 2019. The group will be embarking on a UK tour to support the LP on the 31st of January in Brighton. To catch up on all of TGTF’s past coverage on White Lies, use this link.

 

WIN / Tickets to see White Lies in Newcastle, Sheffield -OR- Hull

 
By on Monday, 6th February 2017 at 11:00 am
 

The weather might be cold, but we’ve got something to warm the cockles of your heart and for the next few weeks. Our friends at Gigs and Tours have given us a few pairs of tickets to a tour I can personally attest to being one of the hottest tickets in town. White Lies will be supporting their newest album ‘Friends’ released last autumn on a headline UK tour starting the 23rd of February in Newcastle. You can read my full report from the Washington, DC show last Wednesday at the 9:30 Club here. We’ve got a pair each to their Newcastle (the 23rd of February), Sheffield (the 24th of February) and Hull (the 3rd of March) gigs.

Want to win? Follow these directions to enter. We’ll first need your name and your email address to contact you if you win. We’ll also need to know which show you wish to win tickets for. Then answer this question about their latest record: What is the first single that was released from ‘Friends’? From all the entries, we’ll choose a lucky winner from all the correct ones we receive. Be sure to get your entry in before we close the contest this Thursday at 5 PM UK time. Any duplicate or incomplete entries will be discarded. Good luck to all! In case you want to buy tickets to tickets to the tour, I’ve listed the tour dates below. To read more of TGTF’s coverage on White Lies, go here.

Thursday 23rd February 2017 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 24th February 2017 – Sheffield Academy
Saturday 25th February 2017 – Oxford Academy
Monday 27th February 2017 – Cardiff University
Tuesday 28th February 2017 – Leicester Academy
Thursday 2nd March 2017 – Portsmouth Pyramids
Friday 3rd March 2017 – Hull University
Saturday 4th March 2017 – London Troxy
Monday 6th March 2017 – Preston Guildhall
Tuesday 7th March 2017 – Aberdeen Garage
Wednesday 8th March 2017 – Edinburgh Potterrow
Thursday 9th March 2017 – Hatfield Forum
Saturday 11th March 2017 – Keele University
Sunday 12th March 2017 – Norwich UEA

This contest is now closed. The winners have been contacted, so please check your inbox to see if you’ve won.

 

Live Review: White Lies with VOWW at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 1st February 2017

 
By on Friday, 3rd February 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

Given the uncertain state of the music industry, and the entire world for that matter, it makes sense a band returning to the stage after a long absence would be feeling some trepidation, no matter how massive the band. White Lies are no strangers (no pun intended) to North America, having first made bloggers’ tongues wag back at CMJ 2008 and followed that up with several hugely successful tours traversing our continent. Returning 4 years after the release of ‘Big TV’, frontman Harry McVeigh revealed they had the common worry “that no-one would show up”. They needn’t have worried, as the White Lies’ faithful came out to fill the 9:30 Club this past Wednesday night.

The support on this tour are VOWWS, an Australian duo currently residing in Los Angeles. Envision Ian Curtis singing to dark Gary Numan songs, and you have some idea of what the industrial synth act sounds like. Interestingly enough, they collaborated with the ‘Cars’ pioneer on a 7”, ‘Losing Myself in You’, which proved to be the most arresting track in their live arsenal.


VOWWS live

As described in my review of it last October around its release, fourth album ‘Friends’ saw the band experimenting with disco and dance beats for the first time in their career. When I reviewed the LP, I had trouble accepting their new direction. I just couldn’t see it with a band like theirs, famous for their dark anthems with names like ‘To Lose My Life’ and ‘Death’. There’s always been a fantastically great pop element to White Lies’ music but prior to ‘Friends’, you would struggle to describe any their songs as truly dancey.

However, when you’re presented these new songs in all their glory in the live context, any reservations you might have had melt away. Many bands of recent memory have attempted to cross into dance, failed badly and even worse, have sounded entirely disingenuous. Introducing ‘Is My Love Enough?’, McVeigh’s explanation that “we decided we wanted some tracks people to dance to. This is one of our favourites” came across as heartfelt. Understanding where they’re coming from, ‘Hold Back Your Love’ seemed less phoned in, McVeigh’s wispy vocals with the synth chords making the whole thing sound like a great ‘80s guilty pleasure.

White Lies 2017 1

I’ve argued in the past that they put out consistently incredibly good singles but have had difficulty in creating full albums that can capture popular imagination. That said and while of course the purpose of this tour is to promote ‘Friends’, it was the gems from their back catalogue, either prominent singles or those hidden diamonds in the rough favoured by longtime fans that turned out to be the standouts of the evening. ‘The Price of Love’ returned to the band’s set list after an absence of what McVeigh said had to be over 7 years. The closing track from their #1 2009 debut album ‘To Lose My Life…’ concluded in such a triumphant way that the band should be very proud of. I have been following the band as a journo since their first tour in North America in March 2009, and even I had forgotten about that track.

This evening’s version of ‘Unfinished Business’ was an unqualified success, the driving and mesmeric rhythm song accompanied by McVeigh’s plaintive cries of “there’s a light in the distance waiting for me / I will wait for you”. Taken together, the song has the ability to simultaneously melt and break hearts at the same time; I almost fainted being swept up in the emotion. It was undeniable proof that we should be applauding White Lies for the strength of their back catalogue. I wasn’t keen on their new direction before this show but after it, I’m sold. While primary songwriter Charles Cave has proven his masochistic tendencies in songs like ‘Friends’ opening track and lead single ‘Take It Out on Me’, it’s clear that this is music that comes from the heart. As long as White Lies stay honest about where they’re coming from and where they’re going, we should have every reason to believe they’ll continue for many years to come.


White Lies 2017 3

After the cut: White Lies’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: White Lies with VOWW at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 1st February 2017

 

Live Gig Video: watch White Lies’ new promo for ‘Don’t Want to Feel It All’, from 4th album ‘Friends’

 
By on Friday, 20th January 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

White Lies seem to be enjoying the live promo video format a wee bit too much. I used to think this all too familiar trend of using films from live shows was simply because the band was too lazy. Maybe they’re just getting old, or they think scripted videos are cheesy? Following the release of ‘Friends’, their fourth album, back in October, they released this live video for ‘Morning in LA’.

Two months on from that video, they’ve got another live one (no pun intended) for ‘Friends’ track ‘Don’t Want to Feel It All’. Like several of the tracks on their latest LP, it’s got a throwback feel and an ’80s vibe, with handclaps and synth marimbas. Yet the song still has that swaying grandeur that makes White Lies who they are and what they’ve always sounded like. There’s that feeling of loneliness, the anxiety settling in about losing hope, losing something of importance. It’s something this band captures oh so well, and seeing what’s happening in America today, the sentiment seems entirely fitting. Catch up on my review of the ‘Friends’ album through this link; for more of TGTF’s ongoing coverage of White Lies over the years, go here. They begin a tour of North America in DC on the 1st of February at the 9:30 Club; stay tuned for a post-gig report and an interview with Harry McVeigh from the night.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPeQ-Tmb30M[/youtube]

 

Live Gig Video: watch White Lies’ new promo for ‘Morning in LA’, from album ‘Friends’

 
By on Wednesday, 16th November 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

White Lies released their fourth album ‘Friends’ last month; I reviewed it then and you can read my thoughts here. One of the oddly unimpressive songs on the album, ‘Morning in LA’, has been given its own promo video. Reading bassist/songwriter Charles Cave’s words on the song definitely helps explain why they wrote it, as well as how important it is to them to play for fans in North America:

“For the last decade it seems every new film released is a remake, and it’s a topic that already sparks debate. We had been wanting to do a performance style video for a while and the Killing Joke video from which ours respectfully steals is an absolute classic of the genre. When White Lies started, we received a fair amount of ‘gothic’ adjectives describing our music – something we always found quite funny. For ‘Morning in LA’, arguably our jolliest song yet, we thought the tongue-in-cheek gothic feel of the video was an appropriate aesthetic to go with.

‘Morning in LA’ is a love song to friends, and a hate-song to time zones, I suppose. It’s about trying to maintain contact with the people you care most about when your time zones don’t match up. Funnily enough, this is nothing to do with being on tour, but comes from the flip-side when we as a band were based in London for a year for the first time in a decade, and many of our friends had moved to America or Asia. It was illuminating how the differing time zones are as annoying as the physical distance between you both.

Of course all this talk of mornings in LA, and America has made us keen to get back out there, and see some friends – old and new – at shows supporting the new record. America is a huge place, and much as we would like to play five times as many cities, we’ve put together a couple of weeks of shows that we hope many of our fans can find their way to. We’ve got such fond memories of Chicago, of Boston, of Austin. We know all the fans in New York that were there at the first show all those years ago. We know the fans that travelled from Mexico up to LA just so see us. Well we are more than thrilled to announce our US tour will finish and then send us down for two headline shows in Mexico City and Guadalajara. Our fans around the world are all vocal in their pleas for us to play in their towns, cities and countries, but it has always been Mexico with the loudest voice. It’s one of our favorite places to play in the world and these shows are going to reflect that.”

To see all of White Lies’ upcoming tour dates in America, Canada and Mexico, use this link. They precede a new string of UK dates that were announced and went on sale last week. Watch the Killing Joke-inspired live video from them below.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjoqmMWyko4[/youtube]

 

White Lies / February and March 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 10th November 2016 at 9:00 am
 

West London trio White Lies released their fourth album ‘Friends’ last month on Fiction Records. You can read my review of the long player through this link. Following a well-received tour in October, they’ve announced another UK for early next year, hitting markets they didn’t manage to stop in this autumn. Tickets to this new tour are on sale tomorrow, Friday, 11th the November, at 9 AM.

Thursday 23rd February 2017 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 24th February 2017 – Sheffield Academy
Saturday 25th February 2017 – Oxford Academy
Monday 27th February 2017 – Cardiff University
Tuesday 28th February 2017 – Leicester Academy
Thursday 2nd March 2017 – Portsmouth Pyramids
Friday 3rd March 2017 – Hull University
Saturday 4th March 2017 – London Troxy
Monday 6th March 2017 – Preston Guildhall
Tuesday 7th March 2017 – Aberdeen Garage
Wednesday 8th March 2017 – Edinburgh Potterrow
Thursday 9th March 2017 – Hatfield Forum
Saturday 11th March 2017 – Keele University
Sunday 12th March 2017 – Norwich UEA

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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