Vehicles And Animals, Athlete's debut album, served notice that this London-based quartet were a fine little pop group, specialising as they did in wry songs that recalled the best of XTC or Blur. What Vehicles And Animals didn't prepare you for was this, the sheer magnificence of their new single.
Remember the massive step up that Coldplay made with their second album? Well it's that sort of quality which Wires brings to mind. A moody ballad that starts off quietly with some stately piano chords before slowly building into a total gem of a song. The lyrics appear to refer to a premature baby ("got to see this through, the first night of your life") and it's one of those rare songs that you want to hear again as soon it's over.
Athlete have produced the first great single of 2005 - if this is anything to go by, expect the forthcoming album Tourist to be very special indeed.