Joup Friday Album: Doves – Lost Souls

Doves - Lost Souls (UK - Heavenly : US - Astralwerks)

Doves – Lost Souls (UK – Heavenly : US – Astralwerks)

I haven’t really deviled into the albums that Joup’s amazing author Thomas Williams has done. I must say that I am thoroughly impressed by his feat and you should should indeed check out his series 35 albums over 35 years. It’s refreshing because it opens a door to his taste in music and his life. So much more then critiques could ever offer, they explain why the music is important to him (for better or maybe worse…but generally better). I suppose I have done the same in some of my Friday album picks but, I don’t really believe that I picked an album that really defined and perhaps “changed my life.” Well that last part is perhaps a bit strong but really at the very least it changed my idea of how music can sound. The band is Doves and the album is Lost Souls.

The year 2000. Wow now 14 years have passed. Think about that…14 years since the year 2000. Fascinating. Perhaps this dates me a bit but I still love that old Conan and Andy skit “IN THE YEAR TWO THOOOOOUUUSAND.” This was a recurring act that the late night talk show host put on with his beloved side kick in which they made rediculous and comedic predictions about what would happen in the yer 2000. Such as: “In the year 2000 the old adage that ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ is forever deemed invalid when a woman gives birth to a gun and it grows up and stabs her.” Did that give you a chuckle? I hope so because the point here is that was 15 or more years ago yet still fresh although its dated with an actual year. So too is Lost Souls.

The first time I heard “Catch the Sun,” which I believe was the first single Doves released in the States was on WXRT 93.1 FM Chicago in the Autumn of 2000. This was indeed around the same exact time that Radiohead release Kid A (which Thomas also wrote about here). There was a stretch of about two years that I swear I was listening to the best music man had ever known. I say this in not a cocky boastful manner but as in a “Holy *bleep* I can’t believe I have SOOOO much good music to listen to” way. I was truly inspired and revered the music in my collection at that time. I still do.

“Catch the Sun” literally blew my mind and I had to pull my old red 1989 Pontiac Sunbird over to wait for the name of the song and the band. I waited two additional songs if I remember correctly and I went to Reckless Records in Chicago the next day to get the CD. Popped that in the discman with a tape adapter and had a listen. I played “Catch the Sun” (track 8) first and then the whole 15-song extended US version while driving around. “Oh My God…that is not even the best song…not at all” were my thoughts. Then I reached “The Cedar Room” (Track 10) and almost broke down. This happened quite a bit this year from many different influences and events as some of my family and friends know. This song really did make me pull over…AGAIN. A band had made me do this…TWICE…in a week. And you know what?…they still do it for me.

Doves are comprised of Jimi Goodwin (Lead singer/bassist/acoustic guitar player) and the Williams Brothers (Jez on guitar and Andy on drums {both sing as well}). What I found out about Goodwin when I saw them in 2004 at the Vic was that he played the bass and guitar upside down. Not as in left handed and restrung from top-to-bottom as Hendrix or McCartney or Cobain had done but literally not restrung at all just flipped over. Yes playing a right-handed bass left handed…unreal. Same for the guitar. Both the Williams brother are quite accomplished musicians as well in their own right. You can hear throughout the album the not only intricate guitar and synth work of Jez but the ultra-sonic landscape he creates so simply. And Andy? Well beside drumming in the tried-n-true English shuffle fashion also lays down some killer vocals on “Here it Comes” and “A Melody Calls.”

Doves actually came as a result of an unfortunate event that forced their hand. Goodwin and the Williams brothers had a terrific dance band called Sub Sub in the early 90s in Manchester realizing the 1993 #3 single “Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use).” They were drifting a bit in the mid-90s when their studio with all their current recordings and projects caught fire. They lost nearly ALL of it with the except of a few reels. Can you imagine? But out of that they started over, focused on tackling all vocals themselves instead of bringing other vocalists in as they had done on Sub Sub and by 1999 realized an EP. The following year Heavenly Records released Lost Souls in the UK and AstralWerks later that year in the US.

What has always struck me about this album is the big sonic sound. I live for that actually. Not in a heavy, metal sort of way (although at time that works for me) but rather in this lush almost dream sequence of sound. This can definitely be found on the stand-out tracks “Rise” and “The Cedar Room.” “Rise” for me is the stand-out on this amazing collection because of this very reason with “The Cedar Room” a 1.A. Hearing both of these live felt as though you were swimming in the sound of the song. I still feel this way every time I listen to it.

Going trough the 15 tracks, and yes you should no doubt listen to WHOLE album especially “A House” and “Darker” on the tail end, there is really no weak points. The arrangement and structure of the songs is ideal from start to finish. Timely balance between the highs and lows and careful crafting of lyrical content.

It is something I strive for as a musician myself, everyday as a matter of fact.

If you’ve never heard of Doves then please allow me to share this with you. It truly is my pleasure. Buy it…then get the other 3 albums. Then find Jimi Goodwin’s solo material and the William’s brothers new group Black Rivers. You’ll have hours of amazing music. Yes I’ll push them any day of the week. You know why? As I wrote this piece I listened to it…and it was the right time because it’s tastefully timeless.

Side note: Unforunately I could only find the 12-song album on YouTube. So you’ll have to find the US 15 song extended at your local record shop!

Thomas I think you are next?

Joe Grez

Joe Grez

Joe Grzesik (JGrez) is still an artist developer trying to keep up with new technologies. Photography still has been one of his strongest passions. However, now his main focus has led him back to music where he teaches guitar, piano, saxophone and percussion privately. Music education can never be short changed.

One Response to Joup Friday Album: Doves – Lost Souls
  1. Tommy Reply

    Man! Lost Souls is a great album…I had kind of forgotten all about Doves. It was always a toss up as to whether or not I preferred this record or the band’s follow-up, The Last Broadcast. Just depended on my mood I guess. There Goes the Fear was stuck in my head for months, but I think the first song I ever heard by the band was Sea Song, which is such a gorgeous track…hmmm…guess I know what just worked its way into my weekend rotation.

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