Athlete are an Ivor Novello Award winning English indie rock band formed in Deptford, London, comprising Joel Pott (lead vocals and guitar), Carey Willetts (bass and backing vocals), Stephen Roberts (drums and backing vocals) and Tim Wanstall (keyboards and backing vocals). Recently, the quartet have recruited Jonny Pilcher of Weevil as a live guitarist.
Friends since the age of fourteen, Athlete took their wide ranging influences such as Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips and started jamming and practicing in the basement of The Bear, a pub which was converted into a church and sandwich bar, on Deptford High Street in 1999. They began recording there, before sending demos out.
Early singles and Vehicles & Animals (2002-2003)
Signing with Regal Recordings, the band released their first single in February 2002. The band came to prominence in 2003 with their debut album, Vehicles and Animals, producing popular singles such as "You Got the Style" and "El Salvador". The album earned a Mercury Music Prize nomination and went on to sell over 250,000 copies. They played their first live session on UK radio on the Dermot O'Leary Show, BBC Radio 2.
Mainstream success and Tourist (2004-2006)
Their second album, Tourist, reached Number One in the UK Album Charts in its first week, following the huge success of single "Wires". The song was brought around when the lead singer's newborn baby was rushed to intensive care after a premature birth, and in 2006 it won them the Ivor Novello Award for "Best Contemporary Song". In the UK charts, the band has frequently been frustrated by singles just missing out on top 40 placings, due to inconsistent support by music television channels and radio stations. For instance, certain songs, such as "Wires" and "Half Light", were played up to 10 times a day on larger UK radio stations, yet other singles such as "Westside" and "Tourist" received little to no radio play whatsoever.
Development with Beyond the Neighbourhood (2007-2008)
On , it was announced that the title of their third album would be Beyond the Neighbourhood. The album was mixed by Ben Allen and Michael Brauer, who also worked on Tourist. Released on , Beyond the Neighbourhood was a self-produced collection of low-key songs, viewed as a disappointment by some, and an interesting sidestep by others. It entered at #5 on the UK album chart.
Athlete at the Academy, 2007
They embarked on tours of the UK in late 2007 and early 2008 in support of the album. They also played during the 2008 TT motorcycle racing festival on the Isle of Man.
Next step with Black Swan (2009-present)
In April they announced a 29 date tour of the UK to promote their 4th studio album. The tour took place throughout June and July. The new album is called Black Swan and the track listing was confirmed. On the 2nd June 2009 it was announced that the band had parted ways with Parlophone records and signed up with Fiction Records, who are set to release their 4th album on . The first single from the album "Superhuman Touch" was released on , entering the UK charts at #74, climbing to #71 a week later.
On the 12th of June 2009, Athlete released the song "Summer Sun" as a free download for email-subscribers. The song is not included in the track listing confirmed by band member Carey Willetts, and is likely to be considered as a b-side from the upcoming album.
Athlete have recently signed a deal with Original Signal Recordings to release Black Swan in America.
All Athlete lyrics
- A Few Differences
- Another Kind Of Beautiful
- El Salvador
- Half Light
- I Love
- If I Found Out
- Le Casio
- Loose Change
- Modern Mafia
- Moving Out
- Never Running Out
- New Project
- On And On
- One Million
- One Of Those Days
- Out Of Nowhere
- Shake Those Windows
- Street Map
- Trading Air
- Twenty Four Hours
- Vehicles & Animals
- Yesterday Threw Everything At Me
- You Got The Style
- You Know
All lyrics are property of their respective owners and are strictly for non-commercial use only.