Not To Fall Apart

Edition #29 • White Lies, illuminati hotties, audiobooks, Léonie Pernet, KIDSØ

Not To Fall Apart
🕒 This newsletter is 1167 words, a 9-minute read.

The lights go out—the excitement towers to infinity. The cheers swell like a tsunami. Then, a bang and the show starts.

It has to be one of the best concerts I've ever had the fortune to experience: The White Lies celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut album To Lose My Life at the Brixton Academy in London in 2019.

I've seen the White Lies already on other occasions, but the performances simply couldn't hold up to their records. Primarily, Harry McVeigh, the singer, either succeeds or fails to live up to the expectations. So naturally, I was sceptic standing in the vast art deco hall. Yet there I was, in England's capital, completely caught off guard.

Back then, I wrote for Negative White:

McVeigh was in fine form, though it didn't matter if he hit the notes. For all, the lyrics resounded back from nearly 5,000 throats. People were in each other's arms, in a frenzy of euphoria and beer. A highly contagious exuberance twitched through the masses. Mercilessly as glorious, the immortal hymns crashed down on the enraptured.

So tantalizing are these brief snapshots that abound on Instagram: No technology can capture that feeling of having been at that show. No adjective, no matter how polished, accurately describes the experience. That collective energy welded everyone together. That force of melodies made you vulnerable and immortal at the same time. It is a memory that burned itself into the body not only intellectually but quite physically.

Now, why do I tell you this story? It's simple: White Lies have published a new song this week. Since its release, the single has been heavy-rotating in my playlist. But it also had a rough start.

And obviously, there are four other songs that I'm recommending today: a raw ballad, freakish weirdo-pop, feverish beats, and a warm universe of neo-classical electro await you.

Best wishes,

White Lies – As I Try Not To Fall Apart

I had to listen to As I Try Not To Fall Apart a couple of times until it dawned on me: Once again, the British trio White Lies delivered an incredible song.

White Lies' latest single starts with a full-on pumping 80s groove. Then, Harry McVeigh's voice meanders in an almost Smiths-like fashion, introducing the actual melody to the composition. Only in the chorus, the instruments follow his complex up and downs. As I Try Not To Fall Apart would be rather monotonous without the spotlight on McVeigh.

Am I a faulty kind of man so tender in the heart?
Are clues embedded in my hands, a horoscope of cards
No, I'm no special grain of sand or undiscovered star
If there's a great and holy plan, I'd rather have no part

Yet, the song is stunningly dense, the lyrics highly repetitive, hooking the listeners in a trance. As I Try Not To Fall Apart remains pretty levelled throughout its runtime. No climax, no big finale that provides catharsis. In this regard, the single is not related to other songs like Farewell To The Fairground or Tokyo.

You take me in your grateful arms
And I try not to fall, oh I try not to fall apart

It's a constant but melodic grind, and that's what might put people off at first. But it's precisely that continuous flow that creates the euphory, an eternal and complex highlight. The more you listen to As I Try Not To Fall Apart, the more it opens its doors to the gigantic atmosphere.