U.K. rock act Doves is back amid the friendly confines of Astralwerks for the North American release of its fourth album, due in April. After issuing its 2000 debut, "Lost Souls," on Astralwerks, the band's last two albums came out on Capitol in the States.
The as-yet-untitled new set was recorded at the band's home studio in Cheshire, England, and is nearly complete, Doves frontman Jimi Goodwin tells Billboard.com. The first single will be "Kingdom of Rust," which he describes as having "a country-ish shuffle beat. It's really expansive with a wistful melody. It's quite emotional."
According to Goodwin, also due to make the final cut on the follow-up to 2005's "Some Cities" are the Kraftwerk-leaning "Jetstream," a "nod to our electronic past" sung by guitarist Jez Williams; "The Outsiders," which has a "piledriver bass line and a Can-like backbeat"; and "Winter Hill," a "vaguely country rock-esque tune."
"Everyone talks about f*cking departures, but this album is hopefully just Doves doing what they do really well, which is nicely crafted songs," Goodwin says. Asked if a country rock feel was pervasive, he replied, "We haven't made 'Nashville Skyline,' you know what I mean?"
After finishing the "Some Cities" tour in January 2006, band members took an extended break for the first time in their career. "In hindsight, getting off the bike like that did sort of throw us as to why it's been so long between releases, but it was necessary mentally at the time," Goodwin says.
Initial sessions for the album were tracked with veteran producer John Leckie, but the pairing didn't pan out for scheduling reasons, and that material was scrapped. The band then turned to Dana Austin, who worked as an engineer on "Some Cities," to help finish the set.
Doves will return to live duty with U.K. shows in February, followed by a longer tour in April and likely summer festival dates internationally. The band is unsure about its ability to tour in the States "in these credit-crunched times, but we hope we'll be able to get there," Goodwin says.