One Dove

By Bob Gourley | Originally published in 1995

It’s been a long wait for “Morning Dove White,” the debut album of One Dove, but thankfully all the hype and high expectations are entirely warranted. One Dove manage to fuse dance beats with guitars and ethereal keyboards and vocals like no one else has done in the past. Their dreamy sound manages to incorporate elements of the current dance and indie rock styles without ever falling into any preconceived category.

One Dove is a trio comprised of Dot Allison (vocals), Ian Carmichael (keyboards) and Jim McKinven (electronics). One Dove’s first single, “Fallen,” was released on Soma Records and quickly attracted the interested of Andy Weatherall, who put the bands next two singles out on his prestigious Boy’s Own Productions label. “Morning Dove White” was completed in October 1992, but contractual disagreements between Boy’s Own and London prevented the album from being released until a full year later. As a result, fans were left waiting for the new material and in England the LP become one of the most anticipated release of recent years.

“It was a bit scary at the time, because we knew that it could only be harmful,” says McKinven. “The more people expect of something the more they can be disappointed in it. It’s like if all your friends are constantly saying ‘you’ve got see to this band’ your imagination builds up to be this great epic. Basically, all you can be is disappointed because nothing is as good as your imagination.”

The group was totally satisfied with the album and chose not to take the lag time to go back and make changes. Instead, One Dove took the year to focus on becoming a strong live band. Despite using extensive keyboards and electronics in the studio, the group was able to craft a live sound where everything but the drum loops are played live. By placing more of an importance on songwriting and vocals than many dance bands, One Dove are able to comfortably take their studio created sound into the live setting.

“Far, far too many people are taking the easy way out,” says McKinven. “Some dance tracks could actually just be running a random program, there’s not ingenuity in it.”

All of the members of One Dove have equal input in songwriting, though individual songs are usually initiated by one member before being fleshed out by the entire band. Normally, a song idea will start with a chord progression as a base. Some songs begin at home with ideas being played out on a piano or guitar, while others are created entirely in the studio. One Dove have continued writing since the album was completed, though they won’t be going into the studio to record new material until early 1994.

The three members of One Dove come from different kinds of musical backgrounds. McKinven was a member of Altered Images back in the 80’s. Carmichael got involved with the music business by building his own studio rather than learn an instrument. Allison had learned piano from her mother at an early age but was pursuing a degree in applied biochemisty before deciding to pursue One Dove full-time.

Before they were ever actually a band, the members of One Dove had come up with an idea of what their group should be like. At the time, it was all talk, but it wasn’t long before their vision turned into a reality.

“When we finished talking about what we wanted to do, we actually went into the studio and tried it,” says McKinven. “We came up with ‘Fallen’ and at that time we just thought, and right there and then we knew that we had created something new and exciting, so that’s when we decided to become One Dove.”

One Dove believed in “Fallen” enough to raise the money so that they could release it as a white label in 1991. They sent a copy to Weatherall, who like it so much that he persuaded London Records to give them a six album deal, just on the strength of that one song. Weatherall then remixed “Fallen” and the track was released again in February 1992, exposing the masses to the unique sound of One Dove.”

The group will soon be coming to play some shows in America, and is excited because they are still considered a new band here. While British audiences have been constantly exerting the pressure of high expectations, One Dove are excited to make a fresh start with listeners just now getting into their music.”

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