Great Whites Lies is the name adopted by a six piece jazz/pop ensemble made up of members gathered from counties Donegal and Derry. Conceived by vocalist and songwriter Siobhán Shiels, she’s joined in her endeavour by musicians Neil Burns, Sally Lafferty, Peter Doherty, Gary Redmond and Ruth McCarthy.
When putting together the material for their self-titled debut EP, the band’s frontwoman – who is also the co-founder of the Inishowen Gospel Choir – aimed to reflect her experience with both conducting and jazz music, as well as her love of conventional pop pieces.
The three track compilation begins with a soft and smooth beat as “Scary Things” takes off ahead of happy, high-pitched piano keys and a very merry melody. This leads to a fun and contented chorus, which is followed by a brief brass barrage. An extremely lighthearted composition, it’s full of grace and quirks throughout.
“Give Anything” slows down considerably in its wake with relaxed instrumentation and restrained but no less bright vocals. Becomes almost lullaby like as it moves gently forward, it consistently soothes the senses and relieves stress. It’s quite a beautiful ballad in its entirety, whose emotional execution has a reassuring and inspirational quality to it.
“Humble Pancake” is another sunny and serene offering afterwards. Things remains active and exciting as it dances along cheerfully. The instrumentation grows constantly, adding in a plethora of elements without ever becoming over-crowded or abrasive. It’s a festive finale that brings the record to a captivating conclusion.
This inaugural effort from Great White Lies is a charming musical collection that couldn’t be any more accessible or easier on the ears. Shiels’ optimistic and very vibrant vocals are irresistibly uplifting, perfectly complementing the upbeat instrumentation to allow for a light listen. Check it out for yourself on Bandcamp now.