Given that this is Jimi Goodwin’s first solo excursion the title of his first album is very fitting.
‘Odludek’ in Polish means loner, pilgrim, traveller or hermit and is apt for a musician who has spent his career as part of one seminal band after another.
“I’m doing this on my own, without my safety net of collaborators, Jez and Andy,” he says. “This album was all down to me, my gut and my hunches. I’ve made a record that I wanted to hear, but I wanted some craziness on there.”
Jez and Andy are the Williams brothers, schoolmates-turned-bandmates of Goodwin’s, first with Sub Sub in 1993 with their hit ‘Ain’t No Love, Ain’t No Use’ and more recently with Doves.
The latter band is currently on pause after a draining three-year recording cycle for ‘Kingdom Of Rust’.
‘Odludek’, then, as you might expect from Doves’ principal songwriter and singer, isn’t a million miles away from their past work.
‘Didsbury Girl’, for example, would’ve been right at home on their third album ‘Some Cities’.
Once Goodwin explains the song, however, that makes complete sense.
“It is the oldest track on the record, I first demoed that for Doves in 2004,” he says. “It didn’t make the cut and I forgot about it, but when I started making ‘Odludek’ I went back to it and it’s still good, it still moves me.”
Lyrically, like much of ‘Odludek’, the song’s laden with sage advice. In this particular case, it was inspired by Goodwin’s teenage daughter.
“I had this image of someone growing up, a teenager realising that young adulthood isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
“I see my daughter now having her ups and downs, and it reminds me how tough it can be.”
While songs such as ‘Didsbury Girl’, ‘Keep My Soul In Song’ and ‘Ghost Of The Empties’ are reminiscent of Doves, there’s enough to show Goodwin has broken new ground.
‘Oh! Whiskey’, for example, is as playful as he’s ever sounded, beginning with a campfire-style singalong before striding off into an almost balletic, piano-led second half.
For the most part, he’s grateful for a chance to try something new.
“I had this thing where I could hear people saying, ‘The guy from Doves has made a solo record. I bet I know how that’ll sound’. There’s nothing contrived about this album, but if there was one thing I was conscious of, it was being able to say to people, ‘No, you don’t know what this is going to sound like’, without being wilfully eclectic. ‘Odludek’ is like my fantasy record, and I’m so proud of it.”