Tourist is the second release from the relatively new band, Athlete. Previously, this UK four-piece met some success with Vehicles and Animals, and with this album they kept the pop rolling, but with added layers and personality.
Listening to “If I Found Out” and “Chances” sparks the imagination of a Beck and Coldplay collaboration on Sea Changes. All of the members of the band can sing, so I have absolutely no idea who sings on any given track. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Joel Pott (guitar, vocals) does the vocals on most of the tracks (if not, I apologize profusely). I think you can all sympathize with trying to think of a name, and finding it just out of reach. I’m showing a lack of knowledge and professionalism by admitting this, but Joel’s voice has a very similar sound and even cadence to another artist whose name is dancing on the edge of my periphery.
Athlete’s tone is relatively low-key, while their lyrics are deeply personal. “Wires” releases the fear of losing someone close to you, with their opening line, “You got wires going in/ You got wires coming out of your skin/ You got tears making tracks/ I’ve got tears that are scared of the facts.”
Many of the songs like “Twenty Four Hours” are symphonic, which fits as if the London Metropolitan Orchestra had provided string arrangements. “Modern Mafia” picks up the pace and relies more on guitars and synthesizer sounds, but my favorite track, “Yesterday Threw Everything At Me,” showcases all of the band’s talents — a pervasive bass line from Carey Willets, a variety of keyboard sounds by Tim Wanstall, and Steven Roberts’ giving a powerful drum beat – are all rounded out by solid guitar hooks and a chorus that will bury it’s way in your psyche. I am an unabashed fan of Brit pop, and Athlete definitely fits the bill.