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DOVES

Various Artists

Strange World / Purple Desire

File Under: Deep Downtempo / Cosmic Throb / Sensitive Soft Rock

It’s a strange world we’re living in and these addictive cuts mirror it well.
Dancing all night in cheerful melancholy with two strictly limited edits.

The A-side renders gothic synth pop at cruising tempo, spinning a web of tape delay as your mind unravels. A bassline throbs, pistons hiss and a paranoia takes hold of an icy vocal. Lose yourself in the otherwhere.

We step into a pristine wilderness on the B-side, stately pads gliding over a supple rhythm section while tender chimes tug at your heartstrings. Emotion abounds on an instrumental which never was. Big boys do cry, and this dove’s weeping over broken wings…

101 was gone within 2 weeks. Just sayin’ ...


STAFF COMMENTS

says: WDC101 was a staple on the shop player and I'm sure its successor will be a firm favourite of ours too. If side A is your perfect start to the night (I'm thinking slowly wobbling on to the (imaginative) dance floor...), side B is the perfect ending. Top marks again!

TRACK LISTING

A. Strange World 7:04 / 86 BPM
B. Purple Desire 4:52 / 86 BPM

Arriving in 2000, with impeccable credentials (they'd released three beautiful EPs on Casino Records) Doves' debut album was astonishing in its completeness. Deep, doomy but always beautiful, there was a seamlessness to its 12 songs which created a good old-fashioned Proper Album vibe; a record that ebbed and flowed, and a record to lose yourself in. There's a filmic quality to a lot of the sound; a brooding, symphonic, melancholy air which soothes as it grooves. And groove it does: Doves have always had the bottom end well and truly sorted out, and no less than on this, their gorgeous, mellow, darkly comforting debut. What a mix! 


STAFF COMMENTS

says: Doves’ debut was a stunning, cinematic, beautiful, doomy and heavily melancholic masterpiece. With their Factory Records affiliations, this band were just what Manchester ( and by definition therefore: Music in general) needed after the emptiness of ( latter day) Oasis and the banality of “ Britpop”.

TRACK LISTING

Side A
A1 - Firesuite
A2 - Here It Comes
A3 - Break Me In Gently

Side B
B1 - Sea Song
B2 - Rise
B3 - Lost Souls

Side C
C1 - Melody Calls
C2 - Catch The Sun
C3 - The Man Who Told Everything

Side D
D1 - The Cedar Room
D2 - Reprise
D3 - A House

April 2002 saw Doves return, with the Roses inspired "There Goes The Fear" single crashing into the Top 3. It was a massive song, all groove, headrush melody and scope, but even that couldn't prepare us for the sheer brilliance of the album that followed. Every single song is fantastic and whilst still heavy on the sadness, this is a defiantly uplifting record. The appropriately titled "Pounding" is testament to that; it's one of many heart-tugging anthems. Elsewhere Doves cover folk, gospel and early-Floyd style psychedelia, effortlessly blending it into a singular listening experience. It was around this time that another musician (I forget who) described Doves as 'pure emotion on tape'. Whoever he was, he was right! 



STAFF COMMENTS

says: Two years on from their debut and lead single “ There Goes The Fear” felt like a Roses style statement of massive intent. It was a monster! Toweringly majestic and superbly arranged, it was the perfect introduction to a record which was a clear step up in every way. Who knew sadness could be so thrilling?!

TRACK LISTING

Side A
A1 - Intro
A2 - Words
A3 - There Goes The Fear

Side B
B1 - M62 Song
B2 - Where We're Calling From
B3 - N.Y.

Side C
C1 - Satellites
C2 - Friday's Dust
C3 - Pounding

Side D
D1 - Last Broadcast
D2 - The Sulphur Man
D3 - Caught By The River

Doves

The Universal Want

    In a tumultuous 2020, the re-emergence of Doves with new music has provided a shaft of light in an otherwise brooding sky, finally landing their fifth album, The Universal Want, after an eleven-year artistic break.

    The equally ecstatic and relieved response from fans and critics to the first track to emerge, Carousels, during the final, confusing throws of the UK and Europe’s strict COVID-19 lockdown in June, proved how desperately their idiosyncratic sense of euphoric melancholy was, and is, needed. Catching many off-guard, Doves unleashed a track of unfathomable depth, unfurling rich and unpredictable pockets of sound, twisted round a sample of the great Tony Allen at his very best.

    “This place is wild at heart and weird on top, you just couldn’t make it up,” said Jimi Goodwin, surveying the world through his window while a global pandemic was taking root in late-March 2020. Paraphrasing Laura Dern’s character, Lula Pace Fortune in the 1990, David Lynch film Wild At Heart, Goodwin hits on the Lynchian-obsessions shared by all three Doves. Himself, Andy (drums/vocals) and Jez Williams (guitars/programming/vocals) would often find themselves hosting impromptu post-rave, home screenings in the early 1990s.

    By quoting the film, the lead singer and bassist of the twice Mercury-nominated band also, accidentally, expresses what everyone else was feeling at the time of disorientation, fear and hope. Doves have a longstanding habit of doing just that.

    First emerging in 1998 with the release of their debut, vinyl-only Cedar EP, Doves’ first album, Lost Souls (2000), received both press and award-panel praise, before Number One follow-up, The Last Broadcast (2002) provided the trio with a major breakthrough, offering with the hit singles, There Goes The Fear and Pounding. Straight-to-Number One follow up, Some Cities (2005) and the difficult birth of the much-loved Kingdom of Rust (2009) appeared to complete a perfect legacy if the hiatus the band called in 2010 lasted longer than anyone hoped. It certainly lasted longer than the band had expected. “It’s bizarre how quickly life just passes,” says Goodwin, reflecting on the years that turned into a decade.

    The story of The Universal Want, the title itself and other tracks such as Prisoners giving an impression of the band’s disdain towards the consumerist illusion, starts in a rented house in England’s Peak District during secret, unintended writing sessions in 2017. Joining the dots, band historians note that it came a full year before announcing their live return and 18 months before they appeared together publicly. That they were a creative force once more was a near impossible secret to keep, as they worked between studios in the North West and the Midlands.

    Andy Williams describes the excitement of the sessions, saying: “There were times when we felt an indescribable buzz. It was a breeze compared to ‘Kingdom Of Rust’, with one of the nicest things being just hanging out. We were never that far apart; I’d call Jimi every month. We’re too closely tied to have lost contact; I’d miss them.”

    Refusing once more to fall into predictable, guitar-bass-drums, ‘plug in and play’ dynamics, The Universal Want’s overwhelming sense of intrigue owes everything to Doves’ three decades experience at the wheel of their band (a lifespan going back to their time as dance band, Sub Sub), and an autobiographical trip through the sounds of their own lives. From seaside amusements (Carousels) and the remembered heat of acid house (Universal Want) to the aimless summer days of youth (Forest House), each song sets a new reel running to show fragments of their lives and, in turn, those of their listeners. Shadows of Bowie, rare 70’s soul, Detroit House and Afrobeat are cast subtly across the shapeshifting album.

    Cycle Of Hurt’s, disembodied mantra of ‘it’s a trap’, finds the band once more concerned with finding freedom in a cynical, aspirational age. A band that respects creativity itself, allowing the process to meander, it wasn’t, and isn’t their intention to write a manifesto rallying against vapid consumer culture. “When it comes to themes,” says Jez “we always find a very collaborative way forward. It’s all quite subconscious. It’s only when you look back that you can see the threads linking the songs.” 


    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: It's been plenty long enough since a new Doves album, and this one hits all of the high notes we'd expect. Superb melodies, brilliant songwriting and a crystal clear narrative throughout. It's a brilliant return after eleven years, and one we've been sorely needing.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Carousels
    2. I Will Not Hide
    3. Broken Eyes
    4. For Tomorrow
    5. Cathedrals Of The Mind
    6. Prisoners
    7. Cycle Of Hurt
    8. Mother Silver Lake
    9. Universal Want
    10. Forest House

    This superb record was originally released in February 2005. Doves continued where they left off but this time they go even one better again: song for song this probably outslugs "The Last Broadcast"! You could actually describe this as a pop record, just for its massive melody quota, except pop music rarely displays such soul, depth or intelligence. There's Air-ish grooves, Cocteau's-shimmering echoes, a Strokes rip, a Northern Soul stomper, and one song "Snowden" has the sweetest Mercury Rev-style, swooning keyboard refrain. But then you probably know all this by now? This stunning album catapulted Doves right into the big league. Albums with not one duff track can do that for a band. To see a group who'd played live in our shop to a handful of people only six years earlier, go on and connect with so many, and in such a meaningful way, was heartwarming, to say the least. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: By now Doves were an enormous band and their third album in 5 years felt like the summation of all that had gone before, then squared! Unfettered, defiant, confident and brimming with life, this was their most uplifting record propelled by gigantic melodies. A total triumph. Doves at their peak.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    A1 - Some Cities
    A2 - Black And White Town
    A3 - Almost Forgot Myself

    Side B
    B1 - Snowden
    B2 - The Storm
    B3 - Walk In Fire

    Side C
    C1 - One Of These Days
    C2 - Someday Soon
    C3 - Shadows Of Salford

    Side D
    D1 - Sky Starts Falling
    D2 - Ambition

    Soiled Doves

    Soiled Life

      Seattle's Soiled Doves are history - although the group's brief existence in no way reflects its significance in the scheme of things... The band emerged in the late 1990's as new-wave upstarts The Vogue, and by 2001 had mutated (or, rather, condensed) into the 4-piece Soiled Doves. Three of the Four Doves were soon to be members of the critically-acclaimed Chromatics, while vocalist Johnny was on loan from local heroes the Blood Brothers. Soiled Doves released a single on Arizona's collectable King Of The Monsters label, then ventured into Seattle's Paradox studio to record a full-length. Before the album was finished, it was decided that the group would lay itself to rest - Johnny's commitment to The Brothers was compromising his time, and the band were eager to get on with touring, etc. So, after a single West Coast tour in 2001, they had to split. Essential for fans of the Chromatics and Blood Brothers.


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