Ahead of their debut album’s 10th anniversary, the band have curated us a playlist of their favourite tracks.

Post-punk Ealing band White Lies
Post-punk Ealing band White Lies

Ten years ago, seminal debut record, To Lose My Life, changed the courses of Ealing-hailed post-punk/rock band White Lies, going number one in the UK with big-hitting tracks “Farewell To The Fairground” and titular “To Lose My Life.”

A decade later and the brand are now set to celebrate this milestone by playing their anniversary tour at the O2 Academy Brixton in December, as well as a smattering of festivals including Y Not Festival in July.

Looking back at their major influences, bassist and singer Charles Cave picks the band’s top tracks…

The Blue Nile – “Saturday Night”

Discovering “Hats” by the Blue Nile is probably one of the most significant moments in my adult life, speaking about music. This is the final track from an exquisite record. I think what I love most about this band, and this album, is how vital it sounds in terms of the arrangements. There’s not one needless note, or word, or instrument. It sounds like a collection of songs that have been chipped away at, hacked at, burned to the ground, and rebuilt again. As a songwriter I’ll always be drawn to something so well crafted.

Paul Simon – “Mother and Child Reunion”

One of my earliest memories of music was this song. Paul Simon was driving music for my family. I imagine I was hearing his songs pretty soon after I was born. And I would say he’s the main reason why I do what I do today. He’s a songwriter that, for me, always perfectly strikes a balance between melancholy and fun. He has one of the enviable voices that always sounds so effortless. The voice of someone calling into a radio show late at night for advice about his failing marriage.

Pantera – “Cemetery Gates”

“Heavy Metal” was a huge part of my teenage years, and continues to be an important segment of my iPod. It doesn’t get much better than Pantera. Their album Cowboys from Hell was permanently in my Discman for about two years when I was 13.

Olivier Messiaen – “Louange à l’immortalité de Jésus”

One of the classical records I would bring to a desert island with me. In my humble opinion, this particular final passage from “The Quartet For the End of Time” is one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. It is so profoundly moving for me that I have to chose the right moment to listen to it. It can be quite overwhelming.

Steely Dan – “Gaucho”

I think entire university music degrees could consist of only this song. It has more ideas accomplished in it than some bands manage in a 30-year career. Their arrangement is nothing short of genius – but we expect that from Steely Dan. I love the wry lyrics, I love the graceful drama.

Deerhoof – “Spirit Ditties of No Tone”

I discovered Deerhoof when I was about 15, I think not long after this album came out. And then I went to see them play when they toured the next one. There’s no band out there like Deerhoof. Their records should be preserved and treasured in case aliens invade and we can show them what human imagination and artistry can produce. Mind-blowing musicianship, and purely joyful songs.

Talking Heads – “Burning Down The House (Live from Stop Making Sense)”

I used to watch this DVD everyday for a while when I was young. I liked the quirkiness of the performance, but to be honest what really got me was the songs. I have always been drawn to songwriting. And “Stop Making Sense” just displays how wonderful this band were at songwriting.

Claude Debussy – “Sarabande Pour Le Piano”

I studied this piece of music in school. However, I didn’t know what the teachers were talking about because I lied and said I could read music to get onto the course. I have never been able to read music, and my theory in general is pretty poor. But I know what I like. And this piece will stay with me until my dying day.


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