Coves return with single ‘Stormy’. Released on 18th December it’s the first track from their forthcoming sophomore album, due for release in March 2016.
“I’m so eager to go back on stage,” says Beck Wood, spotlights in her eyes. “I miss it. I think I’ve found myself. I can see that I’ve changed, I’m more confident.” You could see it as the shows for Coves acclaimed debut album ‘Soft Friday’ reached its peak. The woman who’d vented her Nico-crisp relationship angst over modern garage psych pop classics was now spinning across theatre stages, finding her pop feet, becoming a star.
They’re a long way from Castle Grayskull now. That was the live-in studio that musical mastermind John Ridgard helped build in a disused office in Leamington Spa and where ‘Soft Friday’ was recorded over a year, Beck laying out a fresh failed romance in song from first flutter to final choke. It saw the likes of Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Lauren Laverne and Nick Grimshaw become fans and critics liken Coves to such disparate acts as Spiritualized, Lana Del Ray, The Shangri-La’s and Brooklyn trend-setters Crystal Stilts and Vivian Girls.
Between the celebrated release of ‘Soft Friday’ in March 2014 (“cold-blooded revenge pop that strikes like a shard of shattered plate to the heart”, NME, 9/10; “splurges of psychedelic colour, a hatful of great songs”, Q; “a terrific debut full of scuzzed up guitars, dirty synths, nihilistic lyrics and Wood’s magnificently bored, though never boring, vocals”, Uncut) they dismantled Castle Grayskull and left Leamington for London and the world. They split their time between life in the capital and on-the-road adventures with the likes of St Vincent and The Raveonettes.
“The transition between Leamington and London,” Beck says of the themes that emerged for their forthcoming as-yet-untitled second album, “how our life is now compared to then, the journey, fallouts between friends, the growth you have in life. We were on a rollercoaster of living the life of professional touring musicians and then going back to the day job.”
When their touring schedule wound up in March 2015, Beck ran into producer Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar). Keen to work with the band, he took the home recordings that Beck and John had made during “red wine holidays” at John’s East London spare room studio to Studio Voltaire in Clapham and honed the pop side until it was as sharp as their psychedelic garage edge. The result was a second album, completed in October 2015 and due for release on 1965 Records in March 2016 that’s cleaner, harder and just as fiery as ever.
“I’ve developed into a new person but I’ve still got that passion,” Beck says of first single ‘Stormy’, released on 18th December. The track has her declaring “you see nothing but thunder in my stormy eyes” over a slab of prime Coves road trip Americana. Hear it here: https://soundcloud.com/
Fans of Beck’s savage snipes won’t be disappointed. “There’s always going to be an element of bitterness within the vocal,” says Beck, “that’s all I can sing.” But what happens when everything works out fine in the end? “When does anything work out fine? It’s never going to work out fine.”
That’s Coves – in the stars, reaching for the gutter.
They will be playing Servants Jazz Quarters, London on 28th January.