“You Saw” The Waeve

The Waeve, recently announced details of their new album City Lights, will drop on September 20th, 2024 via Transgressive Records. The UK duo is comprised of Graham Coxon (Blur) and Rose Elinor Dougall (The Pipettes). City Lights is described as a collection of songs that illustrate the evolution of their collaborative musicianship and sees the band’s sound solidified into something bolder, more expansive and self-assured. The agitated, art-rock squall of first single, and title track, “City Lights” is followed by the second single “You Saw” out now.

To celebrate the release of City Lights, The Waeve will play three special live performances at Rough Trade, as follows: Rough Trade Liverpool on September 20th; Rough Trade Nottingham on September 21st; and Rough Trade Bristol on September 23rd. The band will also play their biggest headline show to date at Village Underground, London on October 29th later this year. Ahead of that, The WAEVE will be on tour this summer, playing support on Elbow’s UK tour; as well as a number of festival dates. List of dates below.

Graham and Rose said of the track: “‘You Saw’ is a song about acknowledging how seemingly tiny decisions can have a seismic impact on the course of one’s life, how sometimes it feels like the way things turn out are predestined. It’s about reconciling a past version with the new version of one’s self and being grateful for how things work out. It’s built around a rhythmic string line to reflect the sense of propulsive forward motion.”

Written by Coxon and Dougall, and Ford was produced once again by James Ford, City Lights features Graham and Rose on vocals, as well as keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, drums and saxophone.

Back in 2020, Coxon and Dougall were adrift. When they met backstage at a charity gig at London’s Jazz Café one night, Dougall suggested they write some songs together. Formerly of retro-pop trio The Pipettes, Dougall had released her third solo album A New Illusion the previous year and having relocated from LA back to London just as Covid struck, Coxon was in a state of flux. “I didn’t know when I was going to work again or try writing again until Rose came out and said, ‘How about we try writing together?’” says the guitarist.

“When I listen to the first album, I can hear me and Graham getting to know each other through making the record,” says Dougall today. Through the process of writing and recording together, not only did Coxon and Dougall get to know each other, they fell in love, and in August 2022 welcomed their baby daughter Eliza into the world.

“The first record was a way of escaping the constrictions of what was going on in the world,” says Dougall. “I think this one was a way of railing against the more domestic constraints that we had. That’s partly where some of the urgency of some of the songs come from.”

Domesticity isn’t always the richest of wellsprings when it comes to artistic inspiration, but from the first few bars of the opening title track, it’s clear this isn’t a record of smug contentment. The night out detailed in the song’s Berlin-era Bowie dazzle has scary monsters lurking in its shadows, anxieties always ready to rear their head.

That combination of light and shade is what makes City Lights such a rewarding listen. For every moment of serenity – “I Belong To’s” wonky pop declaration of devotion or the pastoral splendour of “Sunrise”, which began life as chords Coxon strummed to their daughter one morning – there’s a bump of reality, some discord and grit in the oyster.

“This album is definitely more neurotic and more grumpy – and that comes from me!” laughs Coxon. “I’ve always liked to be pretty straightforward about feelings, whether they’re ugly or beautiful, and I’ve always approached sound in the same way. I don’t always think that sound needs to be comfortable to listen to. That dynamic of putting discomfort next to something that is really lovely is something that I’ve always been interested in.”

The Waeve
City Lights

1. City Lights
2. You Saw
3. Moth To The Flame
4. I Belong To
5. Simple Days
6. Broken Boys
7. Song For Eliza May
8. Druantia
9. Girl Of The Endless Night
10. Sunrise

Live Dates

6/30 – Bristol, UK @ Bristol Sounds (supporting The Breeders)
7/21 – Warwick, UK @ Warwick Castle (supporting Noel Gallagher)
7/25 – Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival
8/4 – Essex, UK @ Audley End (supporting Elbow)
8/17 – Wales, UK @ Green Man Festival
9/20 – Liverpool, UK @ Rough Trade
9/21 – Nottingham, UK @Rough Trade
9/23 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade
10/29 – London, UK @ Village Underground

Pre-order City Lights HERE


Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.