A dark-edged trio hailing from London, White Lies take sonic cues from the likes of Joy Division, the Teardrop Explodes, and Echo & the Bunnymen. Indeed, the three musicians are so committed to the U.K.'s post-punk scene that they signed with Fiction Records, a Polydor imprint best known for its '80s releases by the Cure and the Associates. While attending school in West London, singer/guitarist Harry McVeigh, bassist/lyricist Charles Cave, and drummer/keyboardist Jack Lawrence-Brown formed the group in 2004 under the name Fear of Flying. After releasing two neo-Brit-pop singles on the Young and Lost Club label in 2006 -- "Routemaster" (produced by Brit-pop mainstay Stephen Street) and "Three's a Crowd" -- the trio changed musical directions, adopted a new name, adapted a more somber group persona, and began creating doomy material like the funereal murder ballad "Unfinished Business" and the self-explanatory "Death."
Following the release of the Nick Cave-like "Unfinished Business" in April 2008, the trio made its television debut on Later with Jools Holland and began recording a debut album with producers Ed Buller and Max Dingel. "Death" was released as a single in September 2008, coinciding with the trio's first headlining tour of the U.K. The band released its debut full-length, To Lose My Life..., the following year. The album debuted at number one on the U.K. charts. The band set off on a dizzying world tour, crossing the U.S., Europe, and Japan and hitting major festivals like Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, and Coachella along the way. With such a rigorous touring schedule, the bandmembers found writing difficult, but they eventually made it back into the studio after doing a stadium tour in support of Muse. Finally able to record, White Lies released their second album, Ritual, in early 2011.