Blur's Graham Coxon and The Pipettes' Rose Elinor Dougall have come together as The WAEVE to release their collaborative self-titled album today.
The Waeve is a new project featuring the duo of Graham Coxon and Rose Elinor Dougall. 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 Waeve swelled up after Graham and Rose met backstage at a London venue in late 2020. After exchanging playlists, they found they had plenty of common ground and musical kinships to explore. They began working on material and recording at Graham’s home studio in north London. The ten tracks on their debut album are the results of this intense collaboration, daring each other to write better and probe deeper.
Like a game of consequences, Waeve music is a conversation between two great songwriters getting to know each other during the surreal period of lockdown. Their first explorations opened up a sonic universe neither had expected to find. Initially drawing on a shared love of English folk music, storytelling and the associated landscapes of their beleaguered island, they discovered a shared need to shed themselves of poisons, heartbreaks and defeats through music. From the cocooned conditions of the Covid period, against a brutal global backdrop of impending apocalypse and despair, a body of work emerged, dreaming of escape in a widescreen wilderness. Songs such as the myth-soaked ‘Undine’ are narrated from the duo’s twin perspectives – exploring feminine strength and male vulnerability.
Produced by The WAEVE and James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Florence & The Machine, Foals, HAIM) and recorded in London earlier this year, The WAEVE is a collection of 10 new tracks from songwriters Graham Coxon and Rose Elinor Dougall. Joining creative forces in The Waeve gave the duo the opportunity to push past their instrumental comfort zones. Many tracks feature Graham on saxophones, the instrument he played in his first ever musical band with Blur’s Damon Albarn back in the 80s. ‘Can I Call You’ starts as a ballad then morphs into a krautrock-style motorik number with a sprawling Coxon guitar solo. ‘All Along’ features Graham on cittern, a medieval folk lute. Rose plays piano and an ARP 2000 modular synth. The heavy weather all over The Waeve recalls the blustery folk rock of Sandy Denny or John & Beverly Martyn, while tracks such as ‘Kill Me Again‘ and ‘Over and Over’ recall the 70s rock of Kevin Ayers or Van der Graaf Generator, almost industrial in places.
Watch the music video for ‘Over and Over’:
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