British trio White Lies—guitarist/vocalist Harry McVeigh, bassist Charles Cave and drummer Jack Lawrence-Brown—just released Ritual (Geffen/Fiction), which follows up To Lose My Life…, the band’s commercially successful 2009 debut. The 10-track sophomore LP was co-produced by Alan Moulder (Depeche Mode, Killers) and was written over a five-week period when White Lies wasn’t crisscrossing the globe in support of its first album. Though McVeigh, Cave and Lawrence-Brown are all barely old enough to drink legally in the U.S., the threesome has been playing together as a band since their mid-teens, first as Fear Of Flying, which released two singles produced by Stephen Street (Smiths, Blur), and then under the White Lies moniker. The trio will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.
Lawrence-Brown: My favorite musical discovery over the course of the last 3 or 4 years has been that of Blonde Redhead. Specifically the discovery of their last three albums, Misery Is A Butterfly, 23 and Penny Sparkle. The progression in sound over these last three albums has been nothing short of amazing. On 23, their ability to blend massively distorted guitars with sugary melodies put them somewhere close to My Bloody Valentine sonically. But then their follow up, last year’s Penny Sparkle, rejected that sound for a much more minimal, icy electronic sound. For me, they are one of the few mysterious current bands. I genuinely have no idea what their next record will sound like or what direction they’ll take, and to me, as a fan, that is really exciting. On top of this, they are one of the best live acts I can remember seeing. I saw them last autumn at The Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London and was blown away. They are three excellent musicians, and they pull off the hardest trick in the book: making an incredible recorded sound sound even better on the live stage. White Lies are preparing to play two nights at The Shepherd’s Bush Empire in February, and that Blonde Redhead show is currently the high watermark.