White Lies has decided to follow up their recent album Big TV, which we’ve already reviewed here on Love is Pop, with a new EP called Small TV, which they’re currently selling 1000 copies of on CD and once they’re gone it will be gone forever. Well, except for on the internet, where it’s sure to live on forever. But if you want a physical copy, order one now. Personally, I’m hoping they’ll end up releasing it on vinyl.
Small TV opens with a new, down-tempo version of their recent single “There Goes Our Love Again” from Big TV. This version slows down the melody and tempo considerably, giving the song a trippy vibe, almost turning it into a trip-hop song. The beats here are snappier, too, hitting considerably harder. I especially like the bass guitar part in this version, which is quite funky. Honestly, I love this version just as much as the album version. The EP also features a new version of their recent hit “First Time Caller,” but they haven’t slowed that one down quite so much. Rather, they’ve just recreated the music, almost rendering it minimalistic with light synth, simple drum machine beats and a mellow bass guitar track. I don’t find the chorus of this version to be quite as exciting as the chorus of the original version, but I still appreciate this track nevertheless and I’m sure most of their fans will as well. It’s always fascinating, at least to me, when bands re-envision their songs like this. Any artist can have their stuff remixed, and I do love remixes, but there aren’t so many artists who re-create their own songs this way, so I give them major props for being brave and creative enough to do this.
There are a couple of covers on Small TV. The first one is a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Ride,” which suits the band quite well. Whereas Lana’s track was mostly a gorgeous pop tune, White Lies’ version turns it into something rather haunting. They also give it a very ’80’s pop vibe, which suits the song splendidly, too. The second cover is of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U,” which they’ve slowed down quite a bit, making it pair especially well with the new version of “There Goes Our Love Again.” In terms of the percussion, it mostly consists of a clapper with gentle beats in the background behind that. Then there are little bells or chimes during the chorus, giving the track a bit of color. As with their take on Lana’s “Ride,” I would say that they’ve slowed this one down enough that it almost qualifies as trip-hop as well. Both tracks are quite delicious and make me wish the band would do an entire album of covers.
The EP closes with a new down-tempo version of a track called “Unfinished Business” from their debut album To Lose My Life. It’s not a track that I would have wanted them to re-create, as I don’t think it was one of the album’s strongest tracks, but, that said, I do really enjoy this version. Again, they’ve taken a minimalistic approach with the music, which lets the vocals really shine more than they did on the original version of the song, somehow giving it a stronger emotional impact that is to be savored.