Since bouncing to prominence seven years ago with the spirited, electro-tinged, indie-pop of their Mercury-nominated debut, Vehicles And Animals, Athlete have established themselves among the UK’s finest songsmiths. The southeast Londoners have sold more than a million copies of their three hit albums (the other two being 2005’s Tourist and 2007’s Beyond The Neighbourhood); packed out venues across the world; picked up an Ivor Novello award; and topped both the UK’s album and airplay charts.
Athlete is now set to return with their finest work to date, Black Swan, which will be released on February 2nd on Original Signal Recordings in the U.S.
The reaction to Athlete’s new album overseas has been nothing short of overwhelming with NME stating, “Awash with gorgeous melodies, the best thing they’ve ever done.” And Q Magazine raving: “Strong results… from the rueful to the thunderous. A band reborn.”
In advance of the release of Black Swan, Athlete released “The Getaway” as a digital only EP on November 3rd.
Black Swan is a musical summary of everything Athlete have been through; the good, the bad and the ugly. But although its songs burn with literate emotion, this certainly isn’t a downbeat record. In fact, the album begins with the hurtling FM rush of the glorious track, “Superhuman Touch,” which catapults the album to life with the opening line, “I’m on fire and nothing’s gonna hold me back.”
Produced by the esteemed Tom Rothrock (Foo Fighters, Elliot Smith, Elbow, Beck), Black Swan positively glows with snagging melodies, rich musicality and the band’s heartfelt tales. These songs together make Black Swan the strongest album Athlete have ever recorded.
“After everything we’ve been through in the last couple of years, it feels like we’re starting again with this record,” says lead singer Joel Pott. “We made it without any pressure and without really having anything to lose. That’s exactly how it felt when we first got together. In a lot of ways, Black Swan, is like our second debut album. That’s a pretty exciting feeling.”