The Lost Doves are North-West singer-songwriters Ian Bailey and Charlotte Newman. Their debut album was recorded in Newman's home studio between late 2019 and pre-lockdown 2020.
It enters the world in these uncertain times offering conventional yet still reassuring messages about remaining optimistic and positive. The album opens with the title track, a song which epitomizes the couple's forward looking sentiments.
There's a tendency towards sickly sweet romanticism in songs such as Wired Into You and You Stop Me From Falling. In the latter, Bailey waxes lyrical on an idealized image of a woman: "like roses in the morning sun, you leave your glow."
It's left to Charlotte Newman to bring things back down to earth. In The Wishing Gate, there's a more brooding atmosphere with complaints of being "cursed by a heavy load". Here, we enter the territory of electric folk and the Byrdsian strains of She's Waking Up To Close Her Eyes continue in the same vein.
The duo seem determined not to get stuck in one genre. Newman's rendering of the French standard Autumn Leaves is performed with just the right amount of languor. Less successful is Duchess, a perfunctory cover of Scott Walker's classic where Bailey's voice is no match for the original.
The album's sore thumb moment comes with The Clowns Are Coming To Town a psychedelic instrumental blast that belongs to a completely different record.
This harsh contrast establishes beyond doubt that gentle reassuring folk-pop is the duo's strength.