This fine Tuesday morning we take a tentative step into the top ten of my Best of 2000 list with “Catch the sun”, the second single off Doves’ debut album, “Lost souls”.
Doves were a Cheshire-based trio, made up of vocalist/bassist Jimi Goodwin and twin brothers Andy and Jez Williams (drums and guitars, respectively). They were high school friends but didn’t actually form as a band until they ran into each other at the famed Haçienda during the heights of the Madchester scene. They originally operated under the name, Sub Sub and released a handful of dance-infused singles throughout the 90s on Rob Gretton’s record label, Robs Records. After their studio containing all their equipment burnt down in 1996, they decided to regroup with a new sound and a new name. “Lost souls” was released to critical acclaim, only losing out on winning the Mercury Prize to another album on which they performed: Badly Drawn Boy’s “The hour of the bewilderbeast” (“Once around the block” appeared at #15 on this list). Doves would go on to release three more just as incredible albums before going on indefinite hiatus in 2010. Goodwin released a solo record, “Odludek”, in 2014 and the Williams twins formed Black Rivers, releasing a self-titled long player in the very same year.
I fell in love with Doves’ sophomore album, “The last broadcast”, in 2002, a story which I’m sure will come out in a future post, and I immediately went on the research offensive, gobbling up “Lost souls” in short order and picking up each successive album when they were released. As I mentioned in the intro to this list, I had a hard time finding new music that I liked in 2000 and 2001 was only marginally better. I was beginning to worry that “alternative rock” music had died off with BritPop in the late 90s but Doves were one of a handful of the bands that gave me hope. Their deeply-textured and epic brand of atmospheric rock was just the thing that I was searching for and I didn’t even know it.
“Catch the sun” is probably one of the more straightforward songs on “Lost souls”, except perhaps for the fact that there’s no intro. But who needs those? No timidity, no testing of the waters, just jump right in with two feet stomping. “Every day it comes to this, catch the things you might have missed. You say, get back to yesterday. I ain’t ever going back.” Jimi Goodwin just lays it all out there with his matter-of-fact and assured delivery, sounding very much like he comes from a long line of Madchester vocalists, like a meeting over pints with Ian Brown and Tim Burgess but with some bourbon thrown in for depth. And he’s got the guitar and drum muscle to back him up on this song, all driving and gut-wrenching, creating an envelope of sound that you wish you could seal yourself up in for the afternoon. However, it’s not to be as Goodwin and the brothers Williams are urging you forward, to get you out there into the world and experience everything under the sun.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 2000 list, click here.