Doves on new single ‘Prisoner’, “self care” and long-awaited album ‘The Universal Want’

"Sometimes we get trapped by our own behaviour. You can be a prisoner of your own thoughts"

Doves have announced details of their first album in 11 years as well as sharing new single ‘Prisoners’. Check it out below along with our exclusive interview with frontman Jimi Goodwin.

Having recently shared the Tony Allen-sampling comeback single ‘Carousels‘, the indie veterans have now revealed that they’ll be dropping their fifth album ‘The Universal Want’ in September. Speaking to NME about the cosmic new track ‘Prisoners’, Goodwin said that it held a lot of the band’s “DNA” of hoping for a better tomorrow.

“‘Prisoners’ is about that yearning that Doves have always had,” said Goodwin. “Just over the horizon, there’s always something better. Sometimes we get trapped by our own behaviour. You can be a prisoner of your own thoughts. They can take you to some pretty dark and unexpected places if you let them. It’s a song about checking yourself. It’s not to do with lockdown or the pandemic, it’s just the day to day wellbeing. A lot of Doves lyrics are shot through with that notion of having a word with yourself.”

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The frontman continued: “Self care is getting easier, and it should never have been taboo to speak about mental health. People are more inclined to show their emotions a bit more these days. A problem shared is a problem halved. There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘This life caper is hard’.”

As for the rest of ‘The Universal Want’, Goodwin assured fans: “I just know that we’ve made a really good Doves record that represents where we are and where we’ve been for the past 11 years.”

“It’s probably the most organically-made Doves record,” he told NME. “No one was second-guessing it. It was born out of chatting to each other over email. I was meant to be doing my next solo record and they were supposed to be doing a new Black Rivers album. We started pooling all our material and the material that we couldn’t work into shape on the last record ‘Kingdom Of Rust’.”

Doves, 2020. Credit: Jon Shard 2000

After reuniting for a string of gigs last year that included a huge sold-out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall for Teenage Cancer Trust, Goodwin said that the chemistry of the band was as strong as it had ever been – and that time away has allowed them to appreciate being in a band together much more.

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“Time really does fly and I can’t believe it’s been 11 years,” he said. “We’re friends at the end of the day, and we just clicked back into place like it was yesterday. It’s nice to have had that space between the records. It was starting to feel like punching the clock a little bit before we took a break.”

Describing last year’s comeback shows as “absolutely wonderful”, Goodwin explained how the band were planning to hit the road again in 2021 and share more new music with fans.

“We’re rehearsing songs from the new album so we’ll be ready when we’re allowed to play live again next year,” he said. “There was originally talk of doing a theatre tour this September, but the pandemic came along and put that to bed. Our first gig back at the Royal Albert Hall was so special, and we couldn’t have dreamed of a better cause or a better building to play for people who wanted to see us operate.”

Goodwin added: “We find ourselves in the middle of such strange world events. It’s still exciting to be releasing music, because I’m dead proud of what we’ve managed to pull together after 11 years. It’s like what Picasso said when German troops marched into Paris. He was painting an apple at the time and said, ‘Keep drawing your apple’. Keep doing what you do.”

Doves – 'The Universal Want'
The artwork for Doves’ ‘The Universal Want’, by photographer Maria Lax

Doves release ‘The Universal Want’ on September 11. Pre-order the album here and check out the tracklist below.

‘Carousels’
‘I Will Not Hide’
‘Broken Eyes’
‘For Tomorrow’ 
‘Cathedrals Of The Mind’
‘Prisoners’
‘Cycle Of Hurt’
‘Mother Silver Lake’
‘Universal Want’
‘Forest House’

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