Because good music deserves its very own fair share of exposure, (as compared to those trashy mainstream stuff that has infested our radio nowadays) here's an awesome indie band that you've probably never heard of...
Athlete are an Ivor Novello Award winning English indie rock band formed in Deptford, London comprising of 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). Friends since the age of fourteen, Athlete first started out heavily influenced from bands such as Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips and they have since released four studio albums namely Vehicles and Animals, Tourist, Beyond The Neighbourhood and most recently, Black Swan.
I first got to know them through RadioBlogClub.com a few years back and I'm glad I got to discover them during their rising popularity back in 2005. They are often being compared to other successful indie bands such as Coldplay or Keane but it's not fair to them. Athlete needs to get the recognition that they deserve from the public. Their songs often got featured on popular TV shows such as One Tree Hill (ahh my favourite!) etc.
They definitely deserve total respect for the music that they have created and the lyrics that they have written. It's brilliant.. and the rawness sounding of their music makes them immaculate. If you ever get a chance to see them performing live, you'd suddenly realise the immense talent that they possess. Despite their incredible talent, they are still considered quite underground, as not many people have heard of them. They remind me of an undiscovered Coldplay that are simply better musicians and writers and their music deserves to be heard... out there.
Their latest album, Black Swan, has been on major repeat mode for the past few months. Out of all the tracks in the album, I exceptionally enjoyed "Black Swan Song" the most. My fellow brothers whom are currently serving the army (or were formerly serving the army) would definitely appreciate this song. I had tears in my eyes till the very end of the video. Shan't spoil anything but if you love Coldplay, you'll love this. Watch it.. till the very end then read the story behind the video below.
Black Swan Song. Beautiful.. beautiful song.
Black Swan Song’ is a powerful and moving song about the death of Joel’s grandfather. Joel picks up the story here, “September 1944 in the woods near Arnhem, Holland, my grandfather lay alone and badly wounded struggling to write a farewell letter to his new wife.I love music videos like this. It gives me goosebumps and chills. It's just so good. I wanna discover more bands like Athlete. I love them and yes, bands like Athlete are the ones that need all of your support just so that they can get a gig going and come here to Singapore!
My grandfather Major John Pott died in 2005 at the age of eighty four in Lewisham Hospital London (the same hospital my daughter was born in, an experience that inspired the song 'Wires'). After suffering a heart attack he had felt it time to leave his home in Speyside, Scotland and go on farewell jaunt around the UK. He was very weak, but insisted upon travelling alone.
After a day sightseeing in London with my father, he collapsed and was taken to the hospital where I was able to see him and say goodbye. He held my hand and said "goodbye old chap!" and "bless you". He died later that night with my father by his side. My dad said it was like watching a soldier fight his last battle - there was some struggle but it was a triumphant end.
His death had such a big impact on us as a family and even though we were sad to say goodbye we all felt inspired by his amazing life and death.
The funeral was a very moving celebration of an incredible man. Swallows flew overhead as bagpipes played and comrades in uniform took it in turn to stand at the foot of his grave and salute him.
After his death I knew I wanted to pay tribute to him in some way but nothing came to me for three years. I was at our barn in Wales sitting outside looking over the hills playing the guitar. I started singing the lines "all my friends and family carried me, they carried me home, carried me home" and I instantly knew where the song was coming from. I wrote from my grandpa's perspective. I wrote about his early battles, but mainly about his last one and his longing to go to be with his wife (Anna Pott, who died a few years previously) in heaven. It was my grandpa's symphony, Black Swan Song.
Joel and his father David recently paid an emotionally-charged visit to Arnhem to mark the anniversary of the battle there in which Joel’s grandfather – a paratrooper - was severely injured. After lying in the woods for nearly twenty hours he was taken to a German military hospital and after a heroic, but thwarted attempt to escape on crutches, he remained in a POW camp until released by the Americans in April 1945.
Other songs that I'd recommend listening from them would be Chances and Wires. Till the next music monday post!
Labels: Music Monday