For as awesome as it is to be nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, aka as the annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom or Ireland, it also comes with serious ramifications, like the fact that you have to followup said nominated album.
Take the English band known as Athlete for example. Since release their Mercury Music Prize nominated debut album, Vehicles and Animals, in 2003, the indie rockers’ next two albums, 2005’s Tourist and 2007’s Beyond the Neighbourhood were met with sub par reviews. Needless to say, Athlete faces quite a bit of pressure, a sentiment, which as the band explains, heavily influenced its newest record, a 10-track effort titled Black Swan.
After everything weve been through in the last couple of years, it feels like were starting again with this record, says lead singer Joel Pott. We made it without any pressure and without really having anything to lose. Thats exactly how it felt when we first got together. In a lot of ways, Black Swan, is like our second debut album. Thats a pretty exciting feeling.
As a result, Black Swan is billed as a musical summary of everything Athlete has been through. That said, the issued press release is quick to warn that this doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a “downbeat record.” Instead, the album, which was produced Tom Rothrock (Foo Fighters, Elliot Smith, Elbow, Beck), promises “nagging melodies, rich musicality, and the bands heartfelt tales.”
Black Swan was first released in the U.K. back in August. It will hit the U.S. on February 2, 2010 via Original Signal Recordings. Preview the album’s first single, Superhuman Touch”, below.