One of the first releases of 2009 also looks dead set to number among the most significant. Epically depressive London trio White Lies were named as number 2 in the BBC’s Sound of 2009 most-likely-to poll, reflecting the intentions and suppositions of industry movers and shakers (critics, DJs, suited big-wigs with expense accounts). And it’s not hard to fathom what sent their collective neck hairs tingling. Morbidly macabre (barely a minute passes without some reference to death), gothically cold and efficient and free of baseless sentimentality yet relatable to, To Lose My Life
is a machine of a debut record, an example in really getting the job done. Driven by the propulsive, non-nonsense Larry Mullen-esque drumming (think pre-Joshua Tree
U2) of Jack Brown on steady percussive powerhouses like “A Place To Hide” and “From The Stars”, a bold path is lain over which singer Harry McVeigh roams dispensing haunting melancholy, his statuesque vocal pitched between David Byrne, Paul Banks of Interpol and Ian McCulloch. It’s all undeniably derivative, portions of their sound easily attributed to various sombre post-punk stalwarts of the 1980s; Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, Talking Heads. But there’s something so impulsively likable and vibrant about this very consistent set of songs that sees them make peers of Editors, The Killers and for the general dire tone, Glasvegas. Singles “Death” and “Unfinished Business” especially could spar with any of the above. --James Berry
The debut album from the London-based indie rockers, featuring the singles 'Unfinished Business', 'Death' and 'To Lose My Life'.