Song of the Week: Doves – “Prisoners”

The English indie rockers return without missing a step.

It’s rare for a band to break up or go on an extended hiatus and still return in top form. It always feels like something’s been lost in the intervening years. But here comes Doves to prove that theory wrong with their first new songs in 11 years. The soulful indie group has always made moody music aims for the heart with its vocals, lyrics and sense of catharsis but also has enough variety and unique touches to tickle all the right parts of your brain. “Prisoners” is no exception.

The tune starts off with “Space Oddity” acoustic guitars, along to then launch careening, soaring full-band melodies. Spacey echoes float in the background, adding some flavor to the earthy, intense vocal delivery by Jimi Goodwin. The track flies along at a good clip, feeling like your soaring over London on a cloudy day. It may have an uplifting sound, but it stays grounded with lyrics about “about continually chasing something and not being satisfied when you eventually get it.” Needling the thread between the heard and the heart – that’s where Doves lives, and it’s so satisfying for them to return as great and passionate as they’ve always been.

“Prisoners” will appear on Doves’ new album, The Universal Want, out on Sept. 11.