If Joy Division was black coffee, then White Lies are definitely coffee with milk and one sugar – it still has that hint of bitterness and a bite that you need, but it feels lighter and easier to take. Take It Out On Me is a song about being a surrogate for your loved one’s pain so they can heal in the guise of an uplifting indie rock tune. There’s an underlying current of it being a damaging relationship in the lyrics “Oh take it out on me, I’m in love with the feeling of, Being used.” Disillusion of love’s promise is a theme running through Hold Back Your Love. Friends is an album that does what White Lies does best, for every shadowy metaphor the lyrics conjure there’s an uplifting guitar chorus or synths that lift it into the light.
Originally published in Kirkby Extra, November 2016.
Monthly music columnist for the Kirkby Extra, sometimes article writer for Get Into This. Freelance writer/artist/maker.