After three consecutive Top 5 albums, White Lies have announced that they will release their fourth album ‘Friends’ on October 7th. The first release under a new deal with BMG, ‘Friends’ follows their #1 debut album ‘To Lose My Life...’ (2009) as well as ‘Ritual’ (#3, 2011) and ‘Big TV’ (#4, 2013).
With ‘Friends’, White Lies haven’t so much abandoned their trademark synth-rock sound as given it a spring clean by exploring new sounds. For many reasons, it felt like a fresh start. The trio were temporarily without a label after a bout of record company reorganisation. Rather than re-sign straight away, they decided to start ‘Friends’ under their own steam without the pressure of a deadline or a budget, or even the guidance of a producer.
Whatever sound each song suggested, White Lies went with it. Hence, when ‘Hold Back Your Love’ and ‘Is My Love Enough’ sparkled with disco grooves, they embraced it. When the beautiful ballad ‘Don’t Fall’ jettisoned their signature sound entirely, leaving only frontman Harry McVeigh’s sumptuous, sonorous vocals to connect it to White Lies of old, they stuck with it. Similarly, when the triumphant ‘Summer Didn’t Change A Thing’ harked back to the arena-ready rock of their debut, they didn’t mind.
The changing nature of relationships is a recurring theme throughout the album.
“In the past couple of years, we’ve noticed friends’ life situations causing them to make big decisions – marriages, kids, moving out of London,” says bassist and lyricist Charles Cave. “Friendships have begun to feel adult and our perception of time has changed. As kids, if you didn’t see a mate for a fortnight, you’d wonder what was wrong. Now you might not see someone for six months and it doesn’t matter.”
‘Friends’ has been launched with the brand new single ‘Take It Out On Me’ which is available below and impacts on August 12th. It’s a track which started as an experiment in which Cave aimed to write a chorus using just numbers.
“Right up until we recorded the song it was called 89-1-3,” he says. “It was inspired by a lunatic on Instagram who kept commenting on a friend’s photos in pseudo Biblical verse. From his profile I discovered he lived in a remote cabin with a rough-looking dog. He posted weird videos in which he quoted random numbers. As a challenge, I turned them in to a song. The only problem was that it went so well everyone said it should be the first single, so I relented and gave the chorus real lyrics.”
‘Friends’ was recorded in Bryan Ferry’s private studio in London’s Olympia and was self-produced by the band. White Lies enlisted the help of an expert team including Grammy Award-winning engineer James Brown (Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys), David Wrench (Caribou, FKA twigs) on mixing duties and long-term collaborator Ed Buller who contributed additional production.
White Lies - completed by drummer Jack Brown - can also announce details of an extensive UK and European tour which stretches from late September through to the start of December. It includes a major homecoming show at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on November 22nd.
The band’s full tour schedule is:
28th - Turkey, Istanbul, Babylon
30th - Greece, Thessaloniki, Principal Club Theatre
1st - Greece, Athens, Iera Odos
13th - Netherlands, Amsterdam, Paradiso
14th - Netherlands, Nijmegen, Doornroosje
15th - France, Paris, Trabendo
17th - Luxembourg, Atelier
18th – Belgium, Brussels, AB
21st - Germany, Frankfurt, Gibson
22nd - Germany, Osnabruck, Rosenhof
23rd - Germany, Cologne, Kantine
25th - Denmark, Copenhagen, Vega
26th - Sweden, Stockholm, Debaser
27th - Norway, Oslo, Rockefeller
29th - Denmark, Aarhus, Train
30th - Germany, Hamburg, U&G
31st - Germany, Berlin, Huxleys
2nd - Poland, Gdansk, Stary Manez
3rd - Poland, Warsaw, Progesja
4th - Czech Republic, Prague, Lucerna Music Hall
5th - Austria, Vienna, Ottakringer Brauerei
8th - Croatia, Zagreb, Tvornika Kulture
9th - Germany, Munich, Fabrik
10th - Switzerland, Zurich, Kauflauten
11th - Switzerland, Lausanne, Metropop Festival
13th - Italy, Rome, Orion
14th - Italy, Milan, Fabrique
16th - Spain, Barcelona, Razzmatazz
17th - Spain, Madrid, Arena
18th - Portugal, Lisbon, CCB
22nd - UK, London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
24th - UK, Nottingham, Rock City
25th - UK, Manchester, Albert Hall
26th - UK, Liverpool, Arts Club
27th - UK, Glasgow, O2 ABC
29th - UK, Birmingham, O2 Institute
30th - UK, Leeds, Stylus
1st - UK, Bristol, O2 Academy