Doves Get Happy

Doves Get Happy
Manchester's Doves have had a long, strange trip. After the figurative meltdown of their first incarnation in 1994, dance club favourites Sub Sub, and the literal meltdown of their studio the next year (taking their recordings with it), their manager Rob Gretton passed away, leaving the band poised to release a miserable debut album. That 2000 release, Lost Souls, was a stunning collection of spiritual anthems that had critics showering them with praise while fans cherished the album's meaningful content. It was hailed by many as the best debut from an English artist since Oasis's Definitely Maybe, but there was only one problem: it was so damn gloomy. The band's guitarist and occasional singer, Jez Williams, feels that things are much different now with the release of their second record, The Last Broadcast. "Everything kind of locked into place for us with Lost Souls. I think everyone feels a lot happier now about the band's situation, which I think was reflected in the songwriting [for The Last Broadcast]. It's a lot more optimistic and more diverse."

Things sure have changed for the band who was known for its share of awful luck. The Last Broadcast has the potential to fill even the emptiest person full of love, life and hope. Almost the complete opposite of Lost Souls, the album still sounds like the same band — just much happier. According to Williams, it had to happen. "I think it's just a natural feeling to want to move on and reinvent your sound." Songs like the reassuring "There Goes The Fear" or the confident "Words," serve as remarkable anti-depressants. Williams admits that the songs have to affect the band first before they can be considered finished. "When we sit down and start writing a song, it's got to move us; it's got to come from the heart. We were really buzzing about each song on the album. You know that kind of magic when you first write something? It's that initial rush to the head we felt, and it just seemed really natural. We were uplifted when we wrote the songs and capturing that kind of feeling was what we wanted to do."

With all of the hope contained in The Last Broadcast, the Radiohead comparisons the band still receives from press all over the world is a little puzzling. "We feel that [the praise] is optimistic, but it's a pigeonhole that people put us in. Radiohead are brilliant, and I'm glad we weren't compared to a worse band. We're tarnished as far as some people are concerned, but whatever, let them think that. I'm not really bothered."