Reunited U.K. trio Doves will end their decade-long wait between albums next month with the release of The Universal Want. Following the band’s comeback singles “Carousels” and “Prisoners,” Rolling Stone is exclusively premiering the third preview at their upcoming LP, “Cathedrals of the Mind.”
“We were interested in using the lyrical metaphor as a kind of vast expanse of the mind, in which thoughts and memories get trapped or locked into being forever,” Doves’ Jez Williams tells Rolling Stone. “Somewhere in the maze, there is a way out, but how to find it? Also, the track started with a really good, blissed out groove!”
Despite coming 11 years after the band’s 2009 LP Kingdom of Rust, “Cathedrals of the Mind” finds Doves at their most adventurous, utilizing dub, ambient, and spoken word alongside their own distinct sound heard on Y2K epics like “Lost Souls” and “Sea Song.” While other reuniting bands might be satisfied simply recapturing their old sound, Doves opted instead to push their music forward.
“It was important, as it has been and will be for Doves. We’re always looking under rocks to see what’s there,” Williams said. “Can we walk through that door? Does this sound reflect what’s now and who we are? How will it make other people feel, to be made to care?”
Even prior to Doves’ formal reunion in early 2019, the trio — brothers Jez and Andy Williams and Jimi Goodwin — had already begun working on new music; the roots of “Cathedrals of the Mind” date back to the band’s 2017 visit to the Welsh island of Anglesey, where the music and hook were crafted.
“Anglesey has a very strong atmosphere of its own, you can feel the mystical pagan history of the place,” Williams said. “I recommend anyone to make a visiting there, it radiates a spiritual sense of its own.”
As for the song’s spoken word middle section — a found recording of a speech by a member of the Black Panthers — Williams said, “We just stumbled upon this beautiful speech that really moved us. The determination and heartfelt cry for justice, especially echoing through the times we’re living through, it resonated.”
He continued, “His lyrics connect to our lyrics in the song in a kinda ‘the theory of everything’ way, so we felt it fitted perfectly. A speech can have not just one meaning, but two, three or four meanings. That is, if you listen real close. Much like a song.”
The Universal Want is available to preorder now ahead of the album’s September 11th release date.