Oct 24, 2022
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Steve Gullick
The WAEVE—a new duo consisting of Rose Elinor Dougall and Blur guitarist Graham Coxon—are releasing their self-titled debut album February 3, 2023 via Transgressive. Now they have shared the album’s second single, the atmospheric and epic slow-burner “Drowning.” Listen below.
The band collectively had this to say about the song in a press statement: “‘Drowning’ is one of the more meandering, cinematic songs on the album. The song touches on themes of allowing oneself to be subsumed by forces you can’t deny, whether that be romantically or life in general, of giving into the delicious risk of total failure and oblivion, despite one’s better judgment… Lyrically it comes from two different perspectives, with Rose’s vocal beginning as an intimate half secret, which then expands into soaring strings. By the end we hear Graham’s refrain, acquiescing to the rising tides of intensity and acceptance of a shared fate – “Hold on to me as the waters rise. Drowning again…’
James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Foals, HAIM) produced The WAEVE, which was recorded earlier this year. Dougall and Coxon started trading messages during lockdown, around Christmas 2020, and the project grew from there.
Many of the tracks feature Coxon on saxophone, one of the first instruments he picked up when he initially became a musician. Reference points for the album in the press release include: Sandy Denny, John & Beverly Martyn, Kevin Ayers, and Van der Graaf Generator.
A previous press release describes the band’s sound in more detail: “A liquid meeting of musical minds and talents. A powerful elixir of cinematic British folk-rock, post-punk, organic songwriting and freefall jamming. The WAEVE strikes that magical English folk-rock alchemy of earth and ether. Heaviness and weightlessness. Darkness and light.”
The project was announced in April and in May they shared their debut single, “Something Pretty,” which made it to #1 on our Songs of the Week list and actually isn’t featured on the album. Previously they also shared a trailer for the band.
Dougall is one of the artists on the cover of our special 20th Anniversary print issue, where you can read an exclusive interview with her.
Dougall released her last solo album, A New Illusion, in April 2019 via Vermillion (it was our Album of the Week and one of our Top 100 Albums of 2019). In November 2019 she has shared a new song, “How Long,” a non-album track Dougall said was the last song to be shared from the A New Illusion sessions. “How Long” was one of our Songs of the Week.
Plus read our review of A New Illusion.
A New Illusion was Dougall’s third album and the follow-up to 2017’s acclaimed Stelluar (which was one of our Top 100 Albums of 2017). Read our 2017 interview with Rose Elinor Dougall on Stelluar. She was also previously in The Pipettes and in Mark Ronson’s band.
Coxon’s last solo album was 2012’s A+E, but he’s kept busy with soundtrack work, including releasing two albums of songs and score from the acclaimed TV show The End of the F***ing World and his 2021 score to the comic book Superstate.
The WAEVE UK Tour Dates:
19 – BRISTOL – Exchange
20 – MANCHESTER – Band on The Wall
21 – GLASGOW – Saint Luke’s
23 – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
24 – SHEFFIELD – The Foundry
25 – NOTTINGHAM – Rescue Rooms
27 – LONDON – Lafayette
28 – BRIGHTON – Chalk