South Londoners Athlete return with more of their sparse but classically pop-influenced sound on "Beautiful." The boys from Deptford bring shuffly drums, odd keyboard noises and jangly guitars to their parties and always seem like they pack an extra helping of sunshine, as well, as their songs always radiate as if soaked in the essence of the sun itself. Picnics, tossing the Frisbee and a couple few pints all seem in order when Athlete are on the decks. Not a bad combination, that. Fans of all flavors of off-kilter pop, including recent tour mates Simian and Polyphonic Spree, will find much warmth in Athlete in these cold winter months. Come on in, the water's fine (audio available under audio header on the band's site).
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN