New London trio Real Lies have barely begun their career, but they’ve already garnered comparisons to both New Order and The Streets. It might seem like an odd combination until you hear their nocturnal house soundscapes that are as brilliantly produced as they are socially relevant. Album opener Blackmarket Blues perfectly shows off the urban grit of both their sound and their lyrics, capturing the aimless frustration of unmoored youth. The beat makes you wish you’d heard it at The Hacienda: thumping, trance-like, layered and expertly increasing in intensity. The lyrics are as earnest as they come, declaring “I love my friends more dearly than I’m allowed to say aloud.” It’s something that might be bothersome if they didn’t so perfectly capture the listless drift of an entire generation, unfurling couplets that easily recall Mike Skinner:
You’re the church bells in the morning when you’ve woken up cold On the sofas you surrender to when you’ve been out being bold You are the 5am exodus. You are the, “Have you got a light?” You’re every new friendship that dies quickly in a fight You are the prodigal son hid in the phonebox from the rain You’re in the shower Mondays whispering, “Never again”
Everything about Real Lies flirts with the border between painful authenticity and histrionic self-seriousness. What they’ve done is the nearly impossible: hit the minuscule sweet spot of danceable, relevant and heartfelt.