The Reebok classics. The Lacoste polo shirts. The visual references to the USA World Cup. It doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that the sound of London three-piece Real Lies is just as much as indebted to the early 90s as their image.
Signed to Sweet Exile (the same Marathon Artists imprint that is home to similarly retro-minded acts Childhood and Jagwar Ma), Kev Kharas, Tom Watson and Pat King have already been compared to some of the era’s true greats.
“World Peace” is the kind of blissful Balearic synth-pop anthem that New Order pioneered following their Ibizan voyage of discovery, albeit one which samples French jazz fusion master Jean-Luc Ponty. “North Circular” sounds like urban poet Mike Skinner covering Pet Shop Boys’ classic “West End Girls,” while recent single “Seven Sisters” combines the laddish baggy-pop of Happy Mondays with the type of glossy production you’d expect from a tightly choreographed boy-band.
Despite their obvious nostalgia for the Second Summer of Love, Real Lies are also being hailed as the voice of their hometown’s disaffected generation, thanks to their relatable tales of life and love in the city of London, most of which are delivered by Kharas in a manner which recalls Jarvis Cocker at his most deadpan.
The group formed in 2012 when Watson and King, two teenage friends who met while playing soccer, moved next door to Kharas at what would become a permanent party house in North London. After months of playing other artists’ tunes, the trio decided to start making their own, attracting immediate attention with a mixtape titled Poise of Veron.
A debut album is currently in the works, with festival appearances at Latitude, Standon Calling and Lyon’s Les Nuits Sonores, as well as a debut US tour, also lined up later in the summer.