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  • Grace Chapman

Review: "white lies" - Katie Gregson-MacLeod

We live in a world where lying can seem like second nature. It hurts when people lie to us, but it hurts worse when we lie to ourselves. We lie to ourselves to protect ourselves. We change the story in our head to believe a better outcome. We lie to ourselves that we’re okay even though all we want to do is breakdown and die. Katie Gregson-MacLeod’s “white lies” is chilling sonic poetry about the little lies we tell ourselves and the person our heart used to belong to. The white lies in this story do not come from malice or secrecy, but instead, they come from fear of missing out and fear of moving on. She dreams of a love grander than imaginable, but yet still holds on to the past because, like all great loves, it was once synonymous with everything she thought she wanted. When people change drastically, from knights in shining armor to the villain of our story, it can be hard to trust yourself.. even though you were the only thing that stayed consistent. How did I not see it sooner? Was there really a change, or was I blinded by fairytale ideals of us together in the end? If I find someone new will it be the love I always needed.. or will I lie next to them and wish it were you? Sometimes we don’t know if it’s better to stay or go, so we get by with the little white lies we tell ourselves and others, and sometimes, the biggest lie is the one we tell ourselves when we say we wish those white lies weren’t actually the truth.

“White lies” is pure, raw emotion bleeding out. You can feel the depths of sadness and fading from the moment it begins. Katie’s lyrics are devastating and powerful. She paints a picture with her words that most everyone can relate to. In the chorus, she says, “I tell white lies like, ‘I don’t wanna leave you. I don’t want a life without you,” but the truth is maybe I do time to time.” This vulnerable passage of clarity is something a lot of people go through in the end of a relationship. You already have your bruises and scars and know you deserve better, but believing it and leaving are the hardest parts. We picture a new life, a better one, with the love we’ve always craved, but we’re met with confusion when we remember the love we used to share that was perceived as our forever. She ends the song with a subtle, yet compelling, lyric change as she says, “I tell white lies like, ‘I don’t wanna leave you. I don’t want a life without you,” but the truth is maybe I don’t.” At the end, she says the one thing we all say to ourselves that we won’t say to other people. We tell our family, our friends, and even our partners that we deserve better, but in the depths of our heart, we know we’d pick them and our story over any perfect fairytale in the library.

Katie Gregson-MacLeod is a singer-songwriter from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. At just 21 years old, she has a captivating presence and an ethereal voice wrapped in wisdom and profundity. Her sound is influential and causes a string of melancholy that is only ever felt through heartbreak and devastation. She rose to well-deserved overnight fame this summer when she posted a minute-long chorus to an unreleased song called “Complex”. This song went viral with millions of views and fan recreations with their own harrowing tales of letting yourself bleed out to keep someone else alive. From working in a coffee shop to being the voice of a heartbroken generation, Katie has just released her second EP, songs written for the piano, that is sure to bring us to tears while wrapping us in a warm blanket of solidarity and comfort that we are not alone, nor ever will be, in our loneliness. Katie Gregson-MacLeod combines the voice in our head, the ache in our heart, and the power of our being into music that will not only change our generation but will remain undeniable classics for a lifetime.

Written By Grace Chapman



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