Ashes to ashes, indie-kids to harbingers of gloom and doom; White Lies‘ reincarnation from the forgotten Fear Of Flying to breakthrough act of 2009 brings with it a hard earned maturity in lyric and sound. Bass player Charles Cave’s sage words possess a poetic simplicity and speak with powerful eloquence on their favoured subject matter: Death. Each song, rather than wallowing pathetically, faces it with defiance, producing clamorous epics such as, well, -Death’ or powerful anthems such the title track, with its ominous repetition of the eerie sentiment ‘Let’s grow old together, and die at the same time’.
The Band use their somber palette of ghostly synths, thundering bass, clattering percussion, beefed up guitar riffs and the wailing lamentations of lead singer Harry McVeigh to great effect, carefully avoiding the pitfalls of Stereotype and Confection and all the while building to monumental crescendos fuelled by mournful mantras. It’s these moments that give the songs their heart and soul, crying out to lost loves and rapt with depression and fear yet upheld with a sense of hope and assurance.
Although this winning format is sustained throughout, it remains enthralling. -Unfinished Business’, -From The Stars’ and ‘Nothing To Give’ – while certainly still in the same mode – all deviate from the immense epics and present far more relatable issues. Whether or not their success will owe to their music’s pertinence to the current economic climate is irrelevant; With To Lose My Life, White Lies have created something truly masterful, profound and above all, affecting in a time when fear has a stronger hold on us than ever.
To Lose My Life is out now