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Issue 61 New Music: Coves

Coves aren’t afraid to think outside the box. It’s not particularly hard, coming from Leamington Spa with a population of just 47,532. “I Googled it the other day, but don’t quote me on it”, frontwoman Beck Wood warns me. “A lot of them will have probably died in the meantime.” Truth is, there really isn’t much of a box to think outside of in their hometown. “We can do what we want here; we don’t have to fit in. In big cities there are loads of bands forming all the time and it’s hard to get people to hear you”.

That’s not to say people shouldn’t be taking notice of Coves. The duo creates a shimmering concoction of psychedelic guitar riffs, dreamy yet confident vocals, and quirky beats reminiscent of bands such as Animal Collective or Braids. The pair met from moving in the same social circles and soon started to collaborate.

Multi-instrumentalist and producer John Rigard started off playing 60s garage but soon discovered Wood’s voice, and the project evolved into something more than just messing around. “Beck had never sung before, but her voice suited the music I was making. It was kind of a natural progression”. Earlier demos such as ‘Let The Sun Go’ have a more lo-fi arrangement similar to early Mazzy Star; more recent releases such as ‘No Ladder’ incorporate synth sounds and experimental beats.

In terms of songwriting, Rigard takes centre stage. “John goes and creates something magical in the studio, I write the lyrics. We sit down, get drunk, and create something we’re both happy with.” Despite their clearly rigorous and demanding songwriting process, I’m reassured it’s not all hard work. ‘We’re making spaghetti bolognese at the moment’, I’m informed.

Coves began as a secret project, with the pair telling close friends about their debut show just a week before the event. This is the same band that decided to play solely by themselves when asked to curate a show at London’s Sebright Arms, support acts replaced with video installations as a result of their personal preference to “see just one band than stand up all night.” They played a sold out show on the strength of their name alone.

-Alice Simkins

Photo: Elinor Jones.

Taken from Notion Magazine Issue 61.

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