I once was sat at the side of the Royal Albert Hall, waiting to play a concert there (I know, and I apologise for the name dropping, but it’s part of the story) as two conductors were arguing over the seating plan. If I remember rightly it was for a concert in the Proms series at some point, so they were both keen to show off their ensembles to the greatest effect.
Now I’m a perfectly happy person, and was feeling generally contented at the time, when I was approached by one of the said conductors, not mine, but the other ensembles, who I’d been taught something completely unusable in everyday life, like performance tutorial or some such thing only musicians could take at some point. He looked a little puzzled, worried even as he approached me, and asked me, quite genuinely, what had happened. When I looked slightly peturbed by this, he went on to state that I had been such a happy, fun person at college.
White Lies often have this problem. Constantly compared to Joy Division, The Teardrop Explodes, The Editors and other, slightly dour, downbeat indie-rock acts, they feel their music is more euphoric than these comparisons suggests, arguing that they weren’t even alive when Joy Division were around.
What the band are though is massive. They’ve had three top five albums in the last five years, and this is taken from the most recent of these, Big TV, which came out back in August. It’s released as a single on Monday October 7th, through Fiction records.
The track itself bursts into life with these shuddering guitars and keyboard figures. The whole song is swathed in these layers of sound, as it traverses the euphoric indie rocks with ease. Singer Harry McVeigh’s baritone does lend itself to the usual Curtis comparisons, but there’s a whole gambit of familiarity in his commanding tone, from Dave Gahan to (even) Morton Harket in there. Whether that’s a comparison that’s favourable or not is not important, or at least not important as the fact that the track is this sweeping, uplifiting piece of modern Indie-Rock. It’s accompanied by a moody video shot in and (presumably) around a warehouse, technical looking climbing frame. Seem odd? Watch it, there’s something about it that fits the song perfectly.
Just goes to show. Critics (or conductors) might think things are downbeat, but if you investigate further, often they’re more upbeat than you think……