In 2000, I worried about the state of guitar music until I heard Doves’ “Catch the Sun” on the radio one morning that year. It was perhaps the last time for a while that I’d heard anything new on the radio that really made my ears perk up, and would pretty much stay that way until I heard Johnny Cash’s take on Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” a number of years later. But, that’s another story.
Doves is a trio from Manchester, a group which evolved out of another band Sub-Sub, a proponent of the dance scene in that city earlier in the decade. “Catch the Sun” appears on their debut album under the Doves name, Lost Souls, which is a highlight record of that year. The song is a soaring, celebratory guitar-bass-drums interplay, the anthemic quality of which perhaps belying the morose lyrical content; “Catch the sun/before it’s gone/Here it comes/Up in smoke and gone…”
The song, and the rest of the album, proved that mood and texture can be achieved using traditional rock instruments. The group would go on from here to create atmospheric sounds in follow-up releases like The Last Broadcast, and Some Cities. But for me this song, which was later covered by British pianist/singer Jamie Callum, is one of my favourite songs by anyone.
Take a listen to the track, and tell me what you think.