Cover illustration by Greta White.
London indie royalty Sports Team have perfected the art of the aesthetic.
One of the most influential bands making their way through the London live scene, I've not met a single person (who knows who they are) that isn't excited about what they're doing. Every one of their winter headlining shows in the UK sold out. Having finished their album at the end of January, they've been teasing their fans, claiming - more than likely rightfully so - that it's the greatest album of the decade. They're important to their fans because they're proving that with a little ambition and a lot of talent, you can produce music (and make a community) that means something and sets you apart from the rest. One of my favorite pieces on them is NME's recent article titled "Sports Team want to make British guitar music tribal again," in which lead singer Alex Rice tells the magazine, "Our audience is bored, suburban kids a lot of the time, which I think is different from [those bands’] crowd...I think those people haven’t had a voice in so long.”
Their first big release came in 2018 in the form of their EP Winter Nets, "the culmination of a year-long journey in which the six man band impressed with the singles 'Stanton' and 'Beverly Rose' and captured our hearts with compelling and rebellious live shows." This body of work immediately put them on the radar of some of England's most prestigious music blogs. What followed was months of touring - seriously, this band worked their asses off - and building a proper fanbase, along with the release of two more EPs - Keep Walking! and Making Hay. Their latest single, "The Races," was released last November.
One of my favorite things about this band in particular is how politically engaged they are, and how politically engaged they encourage everyone who listens to their music to be. Not two weeks ago they announced their support for Shado Mag's collaboration with Alliance for Choice: "So important that we continue to break the stigma and campaign for free, safe, legal, local abortions for women everywhere." They want to use their voice to be a representative for people who don't have one, and I would respect them for that even if their music wasn't out of this world.
They've been placed on more than one "artists to watch" list for this coming year. I suggest you keep an eye on them.
Sports Team can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and their website. They'll be on Future Sounds with Annie Mac tonight to debut their newest single as her hottest record in the world, and will be celebrating at Nags Head Camberwell tonight to play their full record live - at least, that's what they've said. They're on tour with Bombay Bicycle Club in the United States later this spring - do NOT MISS THEM - and will be headlining the Festival Republic Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival this August.