Doves – The Universal Want (White, Boxset and 2LP Black Vinyl Versions)
Doves – The Universal Want (White, Boxset and 2LP Black Vinyl Versions)
Doves – The Universal Want (White, Boxset and 2LP Black Vinyl Versions)
Doves – The Universal Want (White, Boxset and 2LP Black Vinyl Versions)

Doves – The Universal Want (White, Boxset and 2LP Black Vinyl Versions)

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Just two weeks after revealing their first new music in eleven years, Doves break their silence on new album rumours by announcing that their fifth long player.

The Universal Want, will be released on Fri 11 September 2020 on Virgin EMI. Buoyed by refreshed chemistry, restless studio creativity and public reaction to their return, Doves set free the album’s first single, Prisoners, on Thu 09th / July /2020.

Only the second track and first single proper to be revealed, Prisoners forces attention upon itself, not least with the poignancy of Goodwin’s repeated greeting to ‘old friends’, but as an unstoppable, driving tale of caution in a world of unending desire. Produced by Doves with Dan Austin and recorded at the band’s own Frank Bough Sound III studios in North West England, the high heat of its Northern Soul beat is fanned by wiry guitar breaks and cuts of ethereal noise contorting beneath layers of stacked vocals. A statuesque musical statement, Prisoners guides Doves’ second chapter to a peak now within touching distance, the lyrics contrasting to express unease with modern ills.

White record

Double heavyweight WHITE coloured vinyl, gatefold sleeve, printed inners and download card


Lenticular Cover of album artwork on box.
Ex Picture Disc LP
Cassette (limited to box set only)
High quality 12 x 12 prints (art)
Digital Download Code
Numbered Limited Edition
Set of 5 postcard prints using album/single artwork
Remix LP - 12” LP featuring two Doves Remixes (A/B)

Boxset picture is representative - content may vary.

Black record

Double heavyweight black vinyl, gatefold sleeve, printed inners, download card
1. Carousels
2. Prisoners
3. I Will Not Hide
4. Cathedrals Of The Mind
5. Silverlake Mother
6. For Tomorrow
7. Broken Eyes
8. Forest House
9. Teresa
10. The Universal Want
Album Biography
“Hello old friend, it’s been a while…”

Some bands, like families, don’t have ‘thunderclap’ events that unexpectedly define a moment or cause a domino cascade that shapes their lives every day thereafter. In the absence of lightning there’s nurture and in the absence of hard rain, there’s gentle persuasion. Some bands, like families, make considered moves together in steps of months and years, rather than rushing from every second into frantic minutes. Doves, it seems, is one of those bands. One of those families.

When Jimi Goodwin (vocals, guitars, bass, occasional drums), Andy Williams (drums) and Jez Williams (lead guitar, vocals, keys and programming) returned to a major stage for the first time in ten years at the Royal Albert Hall for Teenage Cancer Trust in March 2019, a sense of joyous disbelief developed between them. People still cared so much, including themselves. Such a surge of recognition that it all felt ‘right’ again wasn’t entirely new. Unknown to the audience that moved in rapt joy before them, Doves had begun their second chapter in a secluded corner of England’s Peak District two years earlier. In 2017, the three lifelong friends and musical collaborators of 30 years had come together without a plan or expectation, to try something new. It accidentally became their first writing session since the recording of the 2009 hit album, Kingdom Of Rust.

“Jez and I went up to the Peak District to work on some ideas,” recalls Andy. “The place we rented wasn’t that far away from where Jimi lives, so we just got in touch and asked him whether he fancied coming up. Just to hang out really. We played the idea for what became ‘Mother Silverlake’ and ended up just jamming it out together. It was really good fun. It just felt great.”

The track in question, Mother Silverlake, a percussive stroll in and out of Afrobeat inspirations, would remain a happy secret for some time to come. New ideas bloomed and archived loose threads they’d long regarded as unfinished business fell into satisfying formation. Broken Eyes, the second song that the band says came easily, had been a nagging idea they just couldn’t ‘crack’ last time around. Now, it flowed and found shape. What had changed? “Enthusiasm. There was a buzz,” judges Andy. “Perspective,” adds Jez, with Jimi left to offer “There was a willingness. We were all rooting for it. We fell back into it nicely together.”

Peals of unreserved acclaim followed their Royal Albert Hall show, kind words that blew warmth into the sails ahead of a busy summer of headline outdoor shows and major festival appearances. Their set lists contained crowd-pleasers from their four previous albums, covering Lost Souls (2000), The Last Broadcast (2002), Some Cities (2005) and the aforementioned Kingdom of Rust. The sun shone for their cherished hymns of northern noir, The Cedar Room and Caught By The River, while summer rain frequently failed to dampen breakouts of mass celebration for Pounding, There Goes The Fear and Black and White Town.

Off stage they continued to convene to carefully construct the 10 tracks that have now become The Universal Want, Doves’ fifth studio album and first new music in eleven years. Aside from the long- running #reformdoves Twitter campaign, the side-lines had been cleared of voices pushing Doves in any particular direction. Under no pressure, they had carefully put 46 minutes and 15 seconds of self-produced new music in place between their base in the Cheshire countryside, Vada Studios in the Cotswolds and Eve Studios on the edge of Greater Manchester. “It’s definitely got the stamp of ‘the time’ all over it,” says Jez, when asked to set expectations for what lies ahead. “Everything on the album is an echo. It’s an echo of what we were going through at the time. Getting back together, the Royal Albert Hall and everything else, but a mandate or a plan never did work for us. We don’t decide what it’s going to be about.”

As if stood on the pavement outside a church during a service, excluded from the gaze of God and the invitation of salvation, an introduction of dampened organ swirls into the path of album opener, Carousels. A dare is set for the listener; to assume what’s coming next having been accustomed to such indeterminable atmospherics pouring from previous Doves recordings. Yet Carousels’ forfeited guitars, replaced by complex, looped drum patterns, twisted, re-worked or replaced vocals and grizzling synthesized sounds deals a blow to preconceptions. On hearing the opening track for the first time, Jimi says: “I was blown away, as usual. It’s got a bad-ass breakbeat. Nice bite, boys!”

Recalling the thrill of the funfair, Carousels, as Andy puts it: “Is a reminiscence of the times that we’d go to places like North Wales on holiday as kids, where you had your first experience of sound systems and music being played really loud.” Maintaining a coastal theme, yet arriving almost 1,500km to the south of Rhyl or Llandudno, the components of the final track were assembled in Porto, Portugal. The city provides a regular retreat for Jez, retreating to work on new music, while putting the Manchester he knows and loves to the back of his mind.

Despite being the revered front man of a band that has twice been Mercury-nominated (for Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast), Goodwin remains endearingly cautious about revealing his own ideas. His profound respect for his band mates, with whom he originally formed dance band, Sub Sub in 1991, makes him a reluctant sharer. “Andy and Jez are my peers; I still feel nervous playing stuff to them.” Yet, with I Will Not Hide, the album’s second track, he supplied a soulful ready-made that was a few short steps from completion. “I pulled it out of the bag,” continues Jimi. “They arranged it for me and we recorded it over two afternoons in my front room in summer 2017.”

A four-chord progression that warrants an over-the-shoulder glance to classic Doves tracks like Catch The Sun, with disembodied voices cameoing alongside burbling electrified keys and perfectly-judged guitar breaks, the lyrics appear to denote a struggle in which the protagonist declines to blink first in the face of an unnamed opponent. With Broken Eyes that follows, The Universal Want climbs to its feet in delicately introspective mood. “There have been a lot of casualties in my past and I think some of these lyrics hint at that,” says Jimi. “We shouldn’t be afraid to reference the damage that life can do.”

Time has passed and people, quite publicly and privately, have come and gone. Lost in mind, body or both. Seeing years slowly tick by, the impetus for Doves to come back together came with consideration for each other’s wellbeing. It had to be fun again. “Now it’s OK to just say: ‘I am going to bail’ if you’re not feeling it,” says Jimi. “Whereas, in the past, I’d probably have been mortified to skip a session. We can look at each other now and say: ‘I don’t really want to do this today’ and we all know that it will be alright.” It helps that Doves don’t need to take to the live room for days on end to make a record, instead exploring the potential of the studio as another instrument. “We always tend to avoid just plugging in and playing,” says Jez. “We play with our hearts as a band for the feeling, but with our heads the rest of the time at the computer.”

Yearning euphoria, a tightrope between tears and laughter, desolation and hope, is an indefinable mood that Doves have long since mastered. For Tomorrow proves the point, a track that the band approached with their long-held ambition to write a soundtrack in mind, as well as aping the lush, wall-to-wall sounds of sixties psychedelic soul pouring from bands like Rotary Connection. Here, like the gut punch of Cathedrals Of The Mind that follows, Goodwin’s vocal brings with it the baggage that he says time has added to his journey. Vulnerable, sincere, yet as assured as any performance in the past, these songs are case studies in finding and leaving space for every line to hit as hard as it can. When it comes to what they’re about, it’s open to interpretation, like so much else. Andy says: “’Cathedrals Of The Mind’ was actually one of the first ones that caught Jimi’s ear for us to work on together. It’s about being haunted by someone. It’s usually the case that you write subconsciously with people in mind, without the song being written about them.”

Doves worked on songs, without working on an album. For a long time, they didn’t know they had one to give. It was Prisoners, a driving toe-tapper that leapt to life from a self-recorded loop Goodwin had developed to then become a loose Northern Soul homage, which Jez identifies as a turning point. With lyrics written separately, they all landed on the same page, coalescing in an indictment of desire and advising caution in what you wish for. “Before that point, I didn’t think we had a complete album,” recalls Jez. “It brought it together. We stopped thinking ‘don’t we need a weird one?’ or ‘don’t we need a dance one?’. It had come together.” A sense of unstoppable momentum continues through Cycle Of Hurt, a two-hander with Jez and Jimi sharing vocals, grooving onwards into the title track, Universal Want.

The past may be a foreign country, but Doves don’t mind visiting from time to time. Lyrically peppering modern life’s blind alleys of consumerism and misdirected aspiration with hostile fire once more (How long, til we see what we really want? / What we really need?), Universal Want features a remarkable handbrake turn. It’s piano-led stream of hymnal tranquillity breaks out into an unforeseen torrent just past the half way mark. Briefly a Sympathy For The Devil stomp, then a jaw- dropping house groove, it paints pictures of imagined nights in Detroit or Chicago and familiar dancefloors they knew closer to home. Jez says: “It’s a nod to our Hacienda days with the electronic bass at the end. Just thinking about walking in through those plastic flap doors into the club and the heat hitting you.”

Closing with Forest House, Doves are back in seclusion. Gently closing out with a sparse arrangement that first came to life during that first session in the Peak District, the story appears to come full circle. “It’s about being at one with nature, meeting with someone you love in the open and spending time with them,” says Andy. Perhaps, it’s suggested, this meeting of a loved one, away from the gaze of scrutiny, in a rural location is poignantly autobiographical. “Or it could be Doves as grown-ups with responsibilities, gazing wistfully at our salad days, not going home for whole summers of freedom and to hell with the consequences,” shoots Jimi, claiming the final word. Perhaps it’s best all round that the listener works it out.

Manchester, England. April 2020.
Press Release
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, on Fri 11 September 2020.

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.”
Rewarding fans for ten years’ worth of patience, and welcoming new fans into the fold in style, Doves release The Universal Want in multiple, special edition formats including a sought-after box