Howdy folks,it is August 28 and we have wrapped all of today’s best music news right here in one place, just for you. On the grapevine today are Doves, Groove Armada, Young Knives, Narrow Head and Nap Eyes. Enjoy!
Doves reach divine heights ahead of fifth album,
The Universal Want by teasing third, soul-stirring track “Cathedrals of the Mind”
With band members separately citing Talk Talk and David Bowie as inspirations, Cathedrals Of The Mind once more finds Doves becoming the incomparable sum of their parts, digging deep into their own, expansive record collections and leveraging three decades of experience as a studio band to wrangle electronic and organic sounds into celestial shape. Looping guitar lines, bass subdued to scratchy dub outlines and echo-laden percussion punctuate the track’s rolling landscape, with Goodwin’s affecting vocal performance effortlessly evoking both hurt and hope in each breath.
Cathedrals Of The Mind subtly continues The Universal Want’s gentle undercurrent of political and social commentary, revealing a band emboldened with new ideas, weaving together borrowed, twisted and reworked sounds.
At the helm of guitars, backing vocals and programming, Jez Williams says of the track: “The song stems from a single hook, which developed to evoke this expansive internal monologue, this never-ending chasm of thought. Subconsciously, through words thrown against it and made to fit, it came to be about someone always being on your mind. The listener can form their own ideas. For me, it was about the loss of Bowie.”
In July, Doves confirmed that their fifth album, The Universal Want, would be formed of ten tracks recorded between 2017 and 2019, seven produced in the company of Dan Austin and gathered together in studio sessions that started in England’s Peak District before journeying to studios in Greater Manchester, the Cotswolds and their own Frank Bough Sound III Studios in Cheshire. Featuring Carousels, the first single, Prisoners and Cathedrals Of The Mind the album is the band’s first for eleven years, following 2009’s Kingdom of Rust.
“It’s a prayer to sonics,” reveals Jimi Goodwin. “We still love production and sonic detail. The album more than meets our expectations and, for once, we were unanimous in the track listing. We’re ready to let the whole world in and then gently close the doors. We’ll leave the listener to work out what we meant by it all.”
Doves have announced a run of 17 UK & Ireland tour dates, including a SOLD-OUT emotional homecoming at Manchester’s O2 Apollo, plus additional dates at both the O2 Academy Brixton and Glasgow Barrowland, added to meet demand after fans rushed to hear new songs and experience the breadth of the band’s extensive and cherished back catalogue live. With limited tickets remaining, The Universal Want UK & Ireland Tour dates are as follows:
- Sun 21 Mar Cardiff, University Great Hall
- Mon 22 Mar Bournemouth, O2 Academy
- Tue 23 Mar Norwich, UEA
- Thu 25 Mar Brighton, Brighton Dome
- Fri 26 Mar London, O2 Academy Brixton
- Sat 27 Mar London, O2 Academy Brixton
- Mon 29 Mar Bristol, O2 Academy
- Tue 30 Mar Birmingham, O2 Academy
- Thu 1 Apr Manchester, O2 Apollo – SOLD OUT
- Fri 2 Apr Nottingham, Rock City
- Sat 3 Apr Newcastle, O2 Academy
- Mon 5 Apr Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
- Tue 6 Apr Dublin, Olympia
- Wed 7 Apr Belfast, Limelight
- Fri 9 Apr Sheffield, O2 Academy
- Sat 10 Apr Glasgow, Barrowland – SOLD OUT
- Sat 11 Apr Glasgow, Barrowland
The Universal Want, released on coloured vinyl editions, CD and digital formats, as well as a special-edition box set is available to pre-order now.
Album artwork comes hand-picked by the band by London-based, Finnish photographer, Maria Lax. Her 2020 photobook, Some Kind Of Heavenly Fire, set evocative images alongside memorabilia relating to a moment in time, when hardship, industrialisation and UFO sightings disturbed the peace of her isolated hometown in Northern Finland. Struck by the power in her work, Goodwin acquired the book, then gifted his band mates a copy each.
Turning the page onto the next chapter of a three-decade career, The Universal Want follows the Mercury-nominated albums, Lost Souls (2000) and The Last Broadcast (2002), their second, successive UK Number One album, Some Cities (2005) and Kingdom Of Rust (2009).
For further information on Doves, including all future release and live announcements, connect with the band and sign up for mailing list updates online at:
Young Knives release new single “Swarm”
Listen to “Swarm” HERE
New album Barbarians due for release Sept 18th via Gadzook
‘Freedom with a big F
Freedom with a little left’
Young Knives (brothers Henry Dartnall and The House of Lords) are today releasing “Swarm”, the opening track from their forthcoming album Barbarians. Henry says:
‘Swarm is about feeling at one with all humans, and how that is both beautiful and disgusting at the same time; everyone pulling together, but also having to exist with everyone else’s germs and diseases. It’s also a question about freedom. If we are one then what does freedom really mean? Are you free if your every action impacts the whole? Does it matter if you aren’t?’
Listen to the edit of “Swarm” HERE. The full version appears on upcoming album Barbarians, due for release on Sept 18.
During lockdown, the brothers have been hosting weekly livestreams from Henry’s house; social distancing observed with The House of Lords based in the now-famous caravan on the driveway, and Henry’s 11-year-old son Arthur on tech duties. The shows are viewable live via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on Saturday nights at 8pm, and all of the Caravan Lockdown Livestreams so far can be enjoyed via the band’s website:
Barbarians will be the band’s first album in seven years, following the highly acclaimed 2013 album Sick Octave. Set for release on 18th September 2020, Barbarians was written, recorded and mixed by Young Knives in their studio near Oxford, UK. John Gray’s book Straw Dogs inspired the brothers to dial into the ultra-violent, brutal nature of human beings. Our progresses in science and knowledge have not made any of us any less barbaric: our entertainment is obsessed with it, our world is full of it. What if cruelty to others is just part of who we are? How do we live with that? Barbarians is a leap into sonic experimentation by a band who love to confuse and entertain in equal measure.
Barbarians is available on vinyl, CD, cassette and digital, with various tantalising limited-edition options including a box set, alternative sleeve illustrated by artist Bevis Martin, pink splatter vinyl, screen prints, and ‘Freedom with a Big F’ manifesto / lyric book. The Barbarians shop is here.
Groove Armada Share Official Video For Latest Single “Lover for Now” Featuring Todd Edwards
A Quarantine love story animated and directed by New York’s Fons Schiedon
Their first album in 10 years ‘Edge of the Horizon’ released 2nd October via BMG.PRE-ORDER
Following the long-awaited announcement of their first album in 10 years, U.K. electronic music heavyweights Groove Armada share the accompanying video to “Lover 4 Now (feat. Todd Edwards”) – a jovial ode to Ibiza sunsets and fleeting summer romances.
The dreamlike qualities of the duo’s latest single are perfectly portrayed in this animated tale of a blossoming love in lockdown between the video’s eccentric character-leads, Cosmo the cat and Mio the dog. Living in homes that show no sign of human life, Cosmo and Mio help themselves to the contents of the fridge and pantry, and find solace and companionship through their video chat.
Directed and animated by New York’s Fons Schiedon, who explains “I wrote the treatment as New York was shutting down to handle the coronavirus outbreak. For weeks, the city remained eerily quiet, except for the frequent sound of ambulances. An audio recording of that soundscape taken from my roof is what the video opens with. From the isolation of a smallish apartment, and my improvised studio now squeezed into a corner of the bedroom, the doomy future scenarios just kind of wrote themselves”
Listeners are instantly transported into Schiedon’s hazy alternate reality of curiosity and sepia cityscapes with our two main characters traversing the digital world of online dating, embodying the thrill of meeting somebody new, and as Schiedon explains, the animation could be “a good metaphor for the past few months….working on something in isolation, but virtually supported by others”.
The rare vocals from House and Garage legend Todd Edwards flawlessly compliment the playful and euphoric nature of the accompanying animated – It’s hard not to be immersed in the vibrant audio world of Groove Armada, this latest single just being a glimpse into what their much anticipation forthcoming album, ‘Edge of the Horizon’ has to offer.
2. Holding Strong (feat. James Alexander Bright)
3. Tripwire (feat. Nick Littlemore)
4. Don’t Give Up
5. We’re Free (feat. Roseau)
6. Edge of the Horizon (feat. She Keeps Bees)
7. Lover 4 Now (feat. Todd Edwards)
8. I Can Only Miss You (feat. Paris Brightledge)
9. What Cha Gonna Do With Your Love
10. Talk Talk (feat. James Alexander Bright)
11. Dance Our Hurt Away (feat. Paris Brightledge)
Narrow Head — 12th House Rock Out Now!
Rising from the Texas underground scene, Narrow Head was formed in 2013 but reached full maturity as a band in Houston with the release of their debut LP Satisfaction three years later. The bands new album ’12th House Rock’ was born of close to a hundred takes with no click track, vocal correction, drum samples or quantizing, Narrow Head’s self-produced sophomore LP is thirteen testaments to pulverizing pop encompassing more than 50 minutes.
Delving into deep-seeded themes of self loathing, desolation, self-medication, the loss of loved ones and hopeful redemption, 12th House Rock is, as the title suggests, a rock-focused LP themed on transition. And while unintended parallels between the band’s current buzzy status and the immense potential of the LP cannot be ignored, the focus of the lyrical content explores the vast abyss of darkness just before the sun cracks upon the horizon. “A lot of the record was made in the late hours and early morning,” recalls Duarte. ”Those quiet moments alone when utter silence and my self-medication made it impossible to escape from my own thoughts. These songs were a way out, temporarily anyway.”
Narrow Head’s latest entry is the distillation of the greatest moments in 90’s alternative and hard rock with a fresh set of ears, delivering bludgeoning lullabies of open-hearted and emotionally naked songwriting– where they shine the brightest. 12th House Rock is the album that their fans have been waiting for, and that legions of future fans will soon realize just how much they needed.
01. Yer’ Song (05:36)
02. Ponderosa Sun Club (03:56)
03. Stuttering Stanley (03:10)
04. 12th House Rock (01:28)
05. Hard To Swallow (02:46)
06. Crankcase (01:59)
07. Nodding Off (05:45)
08. Night Tryst (03:23)
09. Emmadazey (03:32)
10. Wastrel (02:07)
11. Delano Door (06:21)
12. Bulma (02:51)
13. Evageline Dream (08:33)
Nap Eyes Share New B-Sides; Watch Visuals For “Snake Oil” & “Child’s Romance”
Nap Eyes share “Snake Oil” and “Child’s Romance,” two b-sides from Snapshot of a Beginner, their new album out now on Jagjaguwar / Royal Mountain and in partnership with Paradise of Bachelors. Each track is joined by a companion found footage edit, both streaming now on the band’s YouTube channel.
Over ricocheting guitar, vocalist Nigel Chapman repeats, “Snake Oil / Dirty Machine Oil,” until he eventually ruminates, “I finally came across the things I’d been intuitively hoping to find / Knowing that I could never seek them out with my conscious mind.” Later, the track builds with thumping percussion and anthemic, quick guitar. “‘Snake oil’ is a well-known idiom of course, for which everyone will have their own associations, and no doubt anyone listening today will be able to find some apropos uses for it,” says Chapman. “At the same time, the song is kind of a contradiction or riddle, because whatever this ‘snake oil’ literally represents, the singer is apparently brewing and stewing it as some kind of sustenance. Who knows what that might mean…it’s a riddle even to me, but I wonder could it have something to do with the dangers at the opposite extreme of the gullibility spectrum—those of hyper-skepticism…?”
“Child’s Romance” opens with distinctive, jangly guitar lines and grooving bass, and is written from the perspective of the child (or the adult tuning into their own inner child). “To me, it’s child-like in that it’s expressing admiration and affection for another person, but without any romantic-relationship-oriented ulterior motives,” explains Chapman. “After writing it I was thinking it’s maybe a bit like the ‘courtly love’ attitude expressed in medieval literature (the early/original ‘Romances’), which is a slightly outlandish combination of aesthetics, idealism, and passion. On another level, I think the song is about learning, as we grow up, to differentiate between feelings of romantic love and more friendly admiration and warmth that we feel towards others. The following should go without saying of course, but it’s definitely necessary to make room for both kinds of feelings in our psychology—rather than expecting ourselves to feel only one or the other.”