After wowing audiences in the U.K. with its gorgeously crafted, guitar-driven dream pop, Manchester trio the Doves will migrate to America next month for the release of its first full-length LP, "Lost Souls," due out on October 17.
Formed in the mid-'90s by Jimi Goodwin and twin brothers Andy and Jez Williams, the Doves took flight from the trio's earlier incarnation as a dance outfit known as Sub Sub, which scored a Top Five hit in the U.K. with its single "Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)."
As the house scene began to slow down, coupled with the rise of Oasis, another Manchester band built around a sibling core, the Doves opted to trade in their turntables for amplifiers. The decision to change was made on the Williams twins' birthday in 1997, the same day the band's studio burned to the ground.
The Doves then spent the last three years recording and releasing a series of sonically luscious singles, including several with fellow Mancunian (and 2000 Mercury
Music Prize winner) Badly Drawn Boy, leading up to the European release of "Lost Souls" this past March.
Doves vocalist-guitarist Jimi Goodwin recently talked with MTV News about "Lost Souls" and explained the rather practical reason behind the band's switch from dance and electronica cuts to a more straightforward rock and roll sound.
"'Ain't No Love' being a big hit caught us by surprise," Goodwin admitted. "It caught us on the hop. So after 'Ain't No Love,' it was like, OK, if it's quicker to write, then why don't we start jamming again and playing our instruments and incorporating that into [the band], 'cause the three of us sitting around one computer was getting a little slow. We were never very prolific, to be honest, but, yeah, we did some good sh** with Sub Sub.
"But back in 1994,"
"way before the studio fire -- because everybody's got this romantic notion that after the fire, we were like, 'Wow. That's it. OK, let's change direction' -- we were already doing that. I mean, obviously, it hindered us, and it was a f***ing weird setback, but for want of a name back then, we were still called Sub Sub.
"I kind of wanted to keep the name anyway," Goodwin said. "It was sort of like, 'F*** you. Who says we can't change?' You know us as [having done] this sort of 'your man done cheated on me' disco track, but there was always more to us than that. But Andy and Jez were like, 'No, let's [change it],' just to break with the past. After the fire, in a way, that just reinforced it for them -- 'Let's just totally change the name and let's start again.'" [RealAudio]
Built around hypnotic
drum rhythms and
looping guitar riffs, Doves songs such as "The Cedar Room" and "Lost Souls" make it clear that the band didn't c of the Sub Sub recording techniques into the new outfit and even drew inspiration from some ghosts of the past, both figuratively and literally.
"['The Cedar Room'] is inspired, definitely, from an old house track," Goodwin said. "I'm not gonna tell you which one, but there's an old British track. The melody is kind of similar to it, and it was obviously done with this weird synth, but we just loved the melody. Jez started playing [the song], and I went, 'Sh**, that reminds me of that track.' And we went, Oh, f***, it is. Yes, God.'
"We just started jamming around it and playing with it," he added. "As
for the vocals, Andy wrote
the verses, pretty much, and I wrote the chorus, so it's about different things, but they seem to make sense when you put them together.
"Andy and Jez used to live near this quite big old house that was a bit derelict," Goodwin described. "There was a rumor that it was [haunted by] ghosts when we were kids. In one part of the house, they had a room they called the cedar room, and with all these ghosts, it was meant to be haunted. So, obviously, they were about 11 or 12 [years old], and that really captured their imagination." [RealAudio]
The Doves will tour the U.K. in late October and early November, and the band is currently mulling plans for a possible North American tour before the end of the year.