‘Kids Of Tomorrow’ was the first free track taken from the album, showcasing the band’s ability to create Lo-Fi yet detailed songs, with distorted vocals backed up by a swell of hypnotic guitar. You can download it for free from our SoundCloud page.
Named after a childhood nickname given by his parents to founder, frontman, and former Plank! drummer Johnny Winbolt-Lewis, Douga have grown from wide-eyed, exploratory experimentalists to BBC 6music featured artists appearing on both Gideon Coe and Tom Robinson’s shows, and now they’ve created a record gripped with a gentle but firm sense of cohesion and clarity. With a studio line-up of Winbolt-Lewis (vocals/guitar/drums,) John Waddington (keyboards/bass) and guest violinist/guitarist DBH – plus additional guitar and engineering work from Raul Careno – the group have built The Silent Well on the foundations of Winbolt-Lewis’ love of kosmische music, through rhythmic repetition and psychedelic drones.
Some of the childhood wonder of Johnny’s initial fascination with music is contained in this release; in the past he’s likened the joy derived from creative expression to losing himself in his imagination as a child, while he recalls “playing with pots and pans and hitting my parents’ piano with a recorder and chipping the ivory keys” as a youngster. So it is on The Silent Well that his wide-eyed sense of the simple enjoyment of creating noise pervades, with sweetly-delivered pop hooks and melodies carefully included so as to pull songs away from their more deep-seated, eyebrow-furrowed backdrops.
Apart from the vocals, recorded at 80 Hertz studio with George Atkins, the bulk of the record was recorded at BlueSCI – a service and space set up in Trafford, Manchester, for people who suffer from psychological and emotional distress. Winbolt-Lewis volunteers there and as such many of the sensitivities of those he comes into contact with have indirectly rubbed off on the record’s own reflective, deeply thoughtful resonance.
Citing artists like Broadcast, Yo La Tengo and Grizzly Bear as influences due to their use of more leftfield textures set against orthodox melodies, there is something about Douga’s music that perfects a sound that can only be identified as their own, albeit inspired by disparate influences picked up along their journey.
So consume Douga’s music and make some time for it amongst frenetic reality – it’s the very least it deserves.
The Silent Well is released on 19th May 2014 via Do Make Merge Records.