Monday, September 26, 2005

No Hits 9.26.05

Vehicles And Animals (mp3) - Athlete

I remember a couple years ago when my friend AN played this new band he "found"--some British outfit he had fallen for. Since that day, I have gladly broken copyright laws and burnt massive copies of their debut album for anyone who might possibly like them. I got to see them this past Wednesday in Chicago and decided it was finally time to post about them.

Athlete is hard to pin down stylistically. They are an unsurprising four-piece (drums, bass, guitar and keys) who somehow create transcendant songs that are incredibly accessible. There are pretty melodies that settle naturally in these subtle loops and electronic bloops and bleeps, giving the songs a smile-enducing quirky overtone. Joel Pott's vocals are understated, with a pretty heavy South London accent that makes his singing endearing and believable. Although the songs tend to be on the mellow side on their debut album, Vehicles And Animals, the album's highlights are probably the wildly infectious grooves and head-bobbing choruses. Unlike the pretentiousness of Blur or self-indulgence of Amnesiac-era Radiohead, Athlete somehow exudes an every-band quality uncommon in most British bands, even the ones I really like. (See Amy's post referring to The Beta Band for instance.)


Athlete's sophomore record is truly more mature, even if that is the musical equivalent to saying a girl has a "nice personality." The songs are rich and honest, addressing some difficult life issues poetically and with candor. Even though I abhor the final track of Tourist, the album has continued to impress me with each listen. There is some intangible quality to the songs that make me think the songs are about something more or bigger or other....

Listen to the songs for yourself--or better yet, take in an entire album, preferrably in one sitting, and you can decide.

From Vehicles And Animals:

You Got The Style (mp3)

From Tourist:

Half Light (mp3)

Wires (mp3)


Post a Comment

<< Home