Safely removed from the rapid rise, ephemeral heyday, and inevitable collapse of the Britpop phenomenon of the mid ‘90s, British music at the turn of the 21st century had thankfully reclaimed a resurgent power, intelligence and appeal. With a heightened, more proportionate emphasis placed on the music itself, and far less tabloid-fueling fodder to go around, emerging UK artists like Badly Drawn Boy, Coldplay, Elbow, Starsailor, and Turin Brakes gave the more discerning segments of the music-buying populace good reason to relinquish their hard-earned bills in their local shops.
While the musical pendulum ascended and descended throughout the ‘90s, a trio named Sub Sub was quietly cultivating a recorded repertoire largely indebted to the UK’s vibrant dance music scene. Hailing from the Northwest county of Cheshire, groomed in the clubs of their nearby native stomping grounds of Manchester, and comprised of lead vocalist Jimi Goodwin alongside twin brothers Andy and Jez Williams, Sub Sub rebranded themselves as the more guitar rock inspired Doves in 1998, a few years after a fire gutted their recording studio and galvanized the creative pivot in the band’s musical identity.
Two years later, the threesome released their haunting and melodically majestic debut long player Lost Souls (2000), which was deservedly shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Three excellent albums followed in 2002’s The Last Broadcast, 2005’s Some Cities and 2009’s Kingdom of Rust, before the band decided to embark upon an indefinite hiatus, which subsequently found Goodwin releasing his debut solo record Odludek in 2014 and his bandmates launching their Black Rivers project and eponymous inaugural LP the following year.
Known for their undyingly loyal legion of devotees, who have been clamoring for the band’s return to the studio and stage for years now, Goodwin and the Williams brothers have apparently heeded the call and scratched their creative itch. “Hit the road this year, album next year,” Goodwin recently confided to Q magazine. “I can’t get over how quickly we’ve assembled a record….We’re back, man. We’re totally back.”
And as we anxiously await new music and the next set of gigs from the group, following heir their headlining performance at Royal Albert Music Hall last month, additional great news has arrived in the recent reveal that Lost Souls, The Last Broadcast and Some Cities—which currently fetch hundreds of dollars on the open market—are all due to be reissued on wax. Each album is slated to resurface in 2-disc, colored vinyl form courtesy of USM / Virgin EMI on May 31st.
Reserve your copies here and in the meantime, revisit a handful of Doves’ most memorable moments below.