The Waeve – a duo made up of Blur’s Graham Coxon and former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall – are all set to release their debut album. Co-produced by James Ford, the record finds the talented songwriters exploring various subjects and soundscapes with infectious enthusiasm.
‘Can I Call You’ opens the album in style with its sparse guitar work, jazz-infused moments and personal lyrics: ‘I still speak with you’. Graham’s trademark guitar sound then rises to the fore halfway through, completely changing the dynamics as the song shifts from a sound reminiscent of Nina Simone to something more akin to Animal Collective with ease. ‘Kill Me Again’ finds Graham demanding ‘Take me to your brighter sun’ against a soundtrack that recalls Berlin-era Bowie before ‘Over and Over’ calms things down with genteel piano, dreamy melodies and dual vocals delivering heartbreaking lines: ‘How many more mistakes can one heart weather?’; ‘Would you keep my safe from harm?’
‘Drowning’ has a twisted lullaby sound to start that progresses into something more akin to a Bond theme, and subsequently a glitchy breakdown, before ‘All Along’ heads off in a more traditional collection – it’s the kind of music you can imagine soundtracking films steeped in folklore. ‘Undine’ reminded us of Damon Albarn’s latest solo material with its natural and glacial yet experimental atmospheric moments. ‘Alone and Free’ continues in this gently swaying and otherworldly vein as the pair talk about the importance of companionship – and knowing when to let go: ‘I need a love I can rely on’; ‘I’d rather be alone and free, I see you turn and go from me’. ‘You’re All I Want to Know’ provides the album with a fitting 6-minute waltz-inspired finish – complete with powerful and poignant observations: ‘There’s something you should know right now, I’m letting you go’.
Packed with emotion and experimental yet melodic moments, let the sound of The Waeve crash all over you.
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