Vinyl love: Doves “Some cities”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Doves
Album Title: Some cities
Year released: 2004
Year reissued: 2019
Details: double LP, white vinyl, limited edition, numbered 0624

The skinny: Back at the beginning of July, I shared photos of Doves’ first record, “Lost souls” and talked about the excitement of having one of my favourite bands back together and active. The announcement of their reunion in late 2018 was well met and by all accounts, the run of live shows that kicked it all off in 2019 were triumphant and exciting. Of course, that was all followed by the reissue of their first three records on limited edition, coloured vinyl, of which I ordered all of them (I shared photos of their sophomore record, “The last broadcast“, as soon as I received them). And then came the ultimate news of all, the prospect of new material, their first in a decade. They’ve been teasing us with a few new songs over the last month or so, then, they dropped the early September release date on us, and you better believe that I pre-ordered it, a sort of birthday present to myself. Anyway… here’s the final one of last year’s reissues, Doves’ third album, 2004’s “Some cities”. It’s beautiful looking and beautiful sounding, like all their records. Come on September…

Standout track: “Walk in fire”

Vinyl love: Doves “Lost souls”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Doves
Album Title: Lost souls
Year released: 2000
Year reissued: 2019
Details: double LP, grey vinyl, limited edition, numbered 2952

The skinny: Last year gave us the big news that Doves, one of my all-time favourite bands, was re-forming for some live shows. And then came the vinyl reissues of their now classic first three albums. I received them in the mail around this time last year and I immediately posted ecstatic pics of my new copy their sophomore release, “The last broadcast“. These days, we are eagerly awaiting news for their brand new album to drop. (We’ve already heard the first single, “Carousels”, which sounds brilliant.) Until then, here’s another of those limited edition, coloured vinyl, numbered releases. This one, their debut, “Lost souls”, pretty sums it all up for me this week. Those in the know will understand.

Standout track: “The cedar room”

Best tunes of 2002: #17 Doves “Caught by the river”

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In the handful of years directly following my and Victoria’s big move to Ottawa, we lived a very frugal life. This was more out of necessity than aesthetic, given my student debt, Victoria’s concentration on finishing her master’s degree, and our measly collective earnings. Still, we often returned to Toronto to visit friends and family, but had to do so by spending the least amount of money possible, and in the periods where we didn’t have our own wheels, this meant long hours aboard the Greyhound bus fleet.

I particularly remember one such trip, an overnighter on the Friday of the August long weekend. And, well, the main reason I remember that it was that particular weekend is that we arrived just as the subway was opening on the Saturday morning and we had to wrestle our way into the subway station amongst the drunken crowds still partying after the opening night of Caribana. It wasn’t a fun experience to say the least, but perhaps I am digressing a bit too much here.

Right.

So I’ve never really been able to sleep on planes or trains, and especially not buses, no matter how tired I’ve been. I’m a pretty tall guy with spectacularly bad posture and can never get comfortable enough to catch proper rem sleep in those seats. However, I hadn’t actually come to that conclusion about myself in those days and still made every valiant effort. That particular evening, I had a new album by a new band in my discman and it went down so well through my earphones on the first spin, I repeated it. And I continued to do so for the entire five (plus) hour trip. As you might’ve guess by now, unlike Victoria beside me, I never properly fell asleep that night, just faded in and out, while the Doves and their sophomore album, “The last broadcast”, guided me through the surreal, not-quite subconscious journey, brightening an otherwise worthless night’s sleep.

This album drew me in and enveloped me for most of the following months. I was in love. I identified them with the dream pop and Madchester bands of the early 90s that I knew and loved. Their sound kept some of the dance aesthetic of their earlier incarnation as Sub Sub but it’s really the layers in the music that define who the Doves are. The music of “The last broadcast” is almost tactile, like running into a massive cobweb that wisps around you and grabs onto you, even as you try to break through it and break it down. It’s great music for driving at night and for listening to with ear phones. Believe me, I’ve tried both multiple times.

The track of our focus today, “Caught by the river”, always reminds me of R.E.M.’s “Find the river”. Perhaps because of the word “river” in the song title or perhaps because it is the finale track of another standout album. Both tracks are the perfect way to close out their respective album.

“You and I
Were so full of love and hope
Would you give it all up now?
Would you give in just to spite them all?”

The undulating strumming of the rhythm guitar emulate the feeling of being cast overboard and caught up in the crashing and splashing waves of a tumbling river. It’s a river in which the water is just fine, the chiming guitars and Goodwin’s soothing vocals ensure just that. And then, the eddies created by all the reverb and effects  just swallow you up whole and let you drift off into eternity. Ohhhhh yessssss.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2002 list, click here.