Real Lies

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Real Lies
Years active2011-present
  • Kev Kharas
  • Patrick King
Past members
  • Tom Watson

Real Lies are a London electronic group,[1] formed by Kev Kharas, Tom Watson and Patrick King. They released their debut album Real Life in 2015. They are now a duo after Watson left the band.

The band are from the Holloway area of London and reference the boroughs of Islington and Haringey in their tracks. Their second album, Lad Ash, was released in April 2022.

Early years[edit]

The band formed after Kharas and Watson, who met "passing cans between each other in the queue for some shit club"[2] moved into a house next to a reservoir in North London. King, who knew Watson from playing football as teenagers, would often DJ at their house parties which lasted for two or three days at a time.[3] The trio began working on songs, often based around samples found by King. An early run of singles included the songs "Deeper" and "World Peace", which were released together on vinyl in 2013. "World Peace", based around a sample of Jean-Luc Ponty’s "Computer Incantations For World Peace", was named as Zane Lowe's 'Hottest Record in the World'. This was followed by "North Circular" – which sampled Boards of Canada and Ron Trent and Chez Damier – "Dab Housing", "Seven Sisters" and "Blackmarket Blues".

The trio also hosted club nights, the Boy's Own-influenced Congress[2], Eternal which saw secret DJ sets from Evian Christ, Jacques Greene, Jamie xx and Terry Farley[4] and Luxury which took place in a working timber yard.[5]

Real Life[edit]

Their debut album Real Life was released in 2015, receiving positive reviews from NME, The Guardian and Clash.[6]

Expanding to a five-piece for live shows, the band embarked on a UK tour with Foals in 2015, played festivals such as Glastonbury Festival, Bestival, MIDI and the Jamie xx-curated Nuits Sonores, and recorded a pair of Maida Vale sessions for BBC Radio 1. In 2016, they released single "One Club Town", sampling "Fascinating Rhythm" by Bassomatic. A video for the song, directed by Jonathan Entwistle, was premiered by i-D in February 2016.


After Real Life, the band started working on new music but were unhappy with the material which was eventually scrapped.[7]

In April 2018, "The Checks" was released on their own UNREAL label. Clash Magazine called it "a gritty, rave empowered return."[8] This was followed by "White Flowers" – a collaboration with British producer Tom Demac – was released through Kompakt, and reviewed favourably by Pitchfork.[9] While in November 2018, Real Lies appeared on Icarus' single "Man of the Land".[10]

During this time, they also released a series of mixes on SoundCloud called UNREAL RADIO, featuring a number of unreleased "Late Editions".

In October 2019, it was revealed that Watson had left the band.

Lad Ash[edit]

In November 2019, Real Lies released their first single as a duo, "You Were In Love". This was followed in February 2020 by "Boss Trick", an ode to Watson.[4] A video for the song was premiered by Crack Magazine.

In an accompanying interview, Kharas revealed they were working on a collection of new songs called Lad Ash:

"Each song from Lad Ash is a farewell to something, but also about finding solace in what you’re left with and excitement in something new. The ‘L’ word is loaded, I know. But I wanted to confront it head-on, show the distance between then and now."

Their new material was described in Paste as featuring "the poetic depiction of love and alienation that made their debut so compelling."[11]

In March 2020, Real Lies were forced to postpone their "first proper tour in five years" due to the global coronavirus pandemic.[12] They later streamed a live concert via Facebook, debuting a cover of A Rainy Night in Soho by The Pogues, which was made available for digital download for a limited time to raise money for the Trussell Trust.

On 9 Feb 2022, Real Lies released "An Oral History Of My First Kiss", the next single from Lad Ash and revealed that the album will be released on 22 April 2022.

Lad Ash received favourable reviews from many publications, and was included in end of year reviews by The Quietus, The New Yorker, God Is In The TV and Nialler9.[13][14][15][16]




Year Title Format Released Tracks Label
2012 "Deeper" Digital download 8 November 2012 World Peace
Deeper (Bey LF Remix)
Marathon Artists
2013 "World Peace" Digital download 2 December 2013 World Peace (Pariah Remix) Marathon Artists
2014 "North Circular" Vinyl + digital download 5 June 2014 North Circular Marathon Artists
2014 "Dab Housing" Vinyl + digital download 21 August 2014 Dab Housing Marathon Artists
2015 "Seven Sisters" Digital download 6 May 2015 Seven Sisters Marathon Artists
2015 "Blackmarket Blues" Digital download 28 September 2015 Blackmarket Blues Marathon Artists
2016 "One Club Town" Digital download 3 February 2016 One Club Town Marathon Artists
2018 "The Checks" Digital download 20 April 2018 The Checks UNREAL
2018 "White Flowers" Vinyl + digital download 14 September 2018 White Flowers Kompakt
2019 "You Were In Love" Digital download 20 November 2019 You Were In Love UNREAL
2020 "Boss Trick" Digital download 26 February 2020 Boss Trick UNREAL
2022 "An Oral History Of My First Kiss" Digital download 9 February 2022 An Oral History Of My First Kiss UNREAL


  • Pet Shop Boys - "Say It To Me" (Real Lies Remix), 15 September 2016
  • Two Door Cinema Club - "Bad Decisions" (Real Lies Remix), 28 October 2016


  1. ^ "NME Onrepeat Reviews - 20 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week". NME. 30 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b "The Quietus | Features | Escape Velocity | Making Eyes At Suburban Boys: Talking Truths With Real Lies". The Quietus. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Next: Real Lies". Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Real Lies: "It's about trying to find pockets of utopia in London."y". Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Naked Ambition: Real Lies Interviewed". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Real Lies announce debut album Real Life". Archived from the original on 19 August 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  7. ^ Alwakeel, Ramzy. "Real Lies: Frontman Kev Kharas talks north London, memory and music as band gear up for new single and shows". Islington Gazette. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Real Lies Share New Track 'The Checks'". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Various Artists: Total 18". Pitchfork. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  10. ^ "Icarus Drop New Track: Man Of The Land feat. Real Lies". The Noise Gate. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  11. ^ "The 15 New British Acts You Need to Know in 2020". 19 March 2020. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  12. ^ Lies, Real (16 March 2020). "It's with the heaviest of hearts that we've had to rearrange our upcoming live shows. Sorry for those who've asked without hearing anything back from us – we wanted to lock in new dates first rather than cancelling completely". Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  13. ^ "The Quietus | Features | Quietus Charts | Quietus Albums Of The Year 2022 (In Association With Norman Records)". The Quietus. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  14. ^ "My Year in Listening". The New Yorker. 23 December 2022. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  15. ^ Nialler9 (22 December 2022). "Nialler9's 30 best albums of 2022". Nialler9. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  16. ^ Team·Opinion·, GIITTV (16 December 2022). "Albums Of 2022 Poll Results: 25-1 - God Is In The TV". Retrieved 26 December 2022.

External links[edit]