In my recent interview with Jez Williams from Doves and review of the forthcoming Doves’ album, ‘The Universal Want’, I described the album as immersive. There is no greater example of this than the surprise track just released off the album, the literally vaulting ‘Cathedrals of the Mind’.
Shimmering layers of arpeggio, sequencers and sampling create a hypnotic layering. The choice of the track is, as a nod to ‘Yes Minister’, courageous: it is not the most commercially accessible track on the album and defies to some extent structural norms with its own unique sonic architecture. And yet it has such a delicious chorus you’ll have trouble getting it out of your head hours later.
Indeed this illustrates the confidence this band has in its material. ‘The Universal Want’ has such depth and expanse, each track a joy and a revelation that creates an exciting journey and ‘Cathedrals of the Mind’ is the band at its most experimental and creative. But it also has within it that warm recognition that makes you feel you have already heard it many years ago.
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.
Jimi Goodwin’s deeply melancholic vocals add so much colour to the lyrics – with the trademark haunting tone over the sparkling rhythms. The track comes with another mesmerising video that dives into the soul of an eye: a psychedelic trip that perfectly accompanies the song:
The Universal Want is out on 11 September 2020 through Virgin/EMI – you can pre-order here.