At the end of 2018, the cultishly beloved post-Britpop group Doves announced they were reuniting after sitting out much of the decade. It was exciting news, but took a long time to truly manifest in anything — it’s now already over a year ago when they started teasing that they were prepping a “really fucking good” reunion album. But recently there have been more and more hints that something was bubbling up in the world of Doves. And now, just a couple months after their landmark debut Lost Souls turned 20, they have finally returned with their first bit of new music in 11 years.
Doves have premiered a new single called “Carousels.” Jez Williams started to work on the song during a trip to Porto, and when the band got back together it was one of the first songs he presented to them; apparently Jimi Goodwin immediately fell in love with its “badass breakbeat.” There’s something nostalgic within it, looking back to the group’s youth together. “It’s a reminiscence of the times that we’d go to places like North Wales on holiday as kids,” Andy Williams said in a statement. “Places where you had your first experience of sound systems and music being played really loud.”
Perhaps fittingly for a long-awaited comeback single, “Carousels” stays true to its name — twirling around through the past and present. Thematically, Doves are looking back to formative experiences. But musically, they were trying to use the studio as an instrument and evolve their sound with chopped up voices and synth textures. That aforementioned badass breakbeat is built around a sample of Tony Allen playing. The result is something that, on first listen, feels as if it pulls throughlines from across Doves’ four albums and sets the stage for something new. And, most importantly after all this time, it indeed sounds “really fucking good.” Check it out below.
“Carousels” is out now via Virgin EMI. Revisit our list of Doves’ 10 best songs.