Monday, October 26, 2009

This Fears Got a Hold on Me

To Lose My Life - White Lies

When words like power, angst, emotive meant more to music there was a sound that wasn’t rock and it wasn’t pop. Listeners could find a connection to the words and find them real in their own lives. The songs were beat driven and flowing to keep listeners engaged but still challenging and complex enough to inspire. It felt artistic, creative yet safely reassuring. The music had a style or an attitude that you could see almost more than you could hear. It wasn’t dark exactly but it was far from happy, a paradox to the pop structure of the songs.

We know this music now to be the popular music of the 1980’s, lead mostly by the movie soundtracks and hit songs that defined our youth. It’s brilliantly simplistic music that was ageless the day it hit the airwaves. Bands like A-Ha, The Cars and Tears for Fears found a way to make pop music for the mind and lead a movement. It was post Clash and the disco movement but pre hair metal. The tagline, emo rock founds its origins with bands like the Cure and the Smiths a standard that would carry over into the music of INXS.

In the early part of this decade a band took these sounds and blended them with the rawness and musical genius of the brooding Joy Division, that band is Interpol. Once thought to be the next icon along with the Strokes, Interpol has met it’s match. M83 has nothing on this band.
White Lies is all that made those 80’s soundtracks sound so great minus the bubble gum and hair product. They are darker than many of the bands above but the sound is built on the same foundation. The range and sincerity of this album is stunning at times. The lyrics are what make this album a true prize.

Having stumbled upon them via a Day Trotter Session, I soon became engulfed with their work. After touring with Kings of Leon and building a fan base in their home of England, White Lies is ready for American domination and I for one welcome it.

Songs to hear: "Fifty on Our Foreheads", "Death", "Unfinished Business"


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