Real Lies’ MELANCHOLY rave contradictions

London act Real Lies are all about contrasts and contradictions, with rave-inspired pop music that’s about so much more than the obvious signifiers.

Their 2015 debut album Real Life was poetic, heartfelt recount of a club scene that was as much about the midweek introspection as the euphoric Friday release, with a sound palette that drew on New Order, Detroit techno, Pet Shop Boys, Underworld and cinematic comedown monologues picking up the pieces between crumpled cans and shuffling out of a sesh house to get the first Tube home.

No follow-up album yet, but Lad Ash is due next spring, and they’ve been busy all through the pandemic, releasing a series of brilliant singles fulled by Kev Kharas’s melancholy monologues and genuinely spiritually sounding productions, from the 90s acid house of Oh Me, Oh My, to the curtain-closer techno of Your Guiding Hand. 

They told Irish site The Last Mixed Tape this week that Lad Ash is “about late nights spent burying yourself in words and warm bodies in an endless search for the right ones” — it’s about time again.

Real Lies play the Workmans Club in Dublin tonight (Friday)