By Chinny Egbuna
Ever stumble across something great by complete accident? While trying to listen to Tame Impala’s Let it Happen for the four-hundredth time, I accidentally clicked on another video.
The link took me to a music video filled with synchronized dancing, badminton rackets, a chorus line and an unusually hyperactive cheerleading squad, all attending what could possibly be the most unenthusiastic pep rally I’ve ever seen. I was immediately smitten. This happy accident is how I came across England’s own, Sports Team.
Sports Team members Alex Rice, Rob Knaggs, Henry Young, Oli Dewdney, Al Greenwood and Ben Mack all met while they were students at the University of Cambridge. The members all had day jobs, and continued to work with them until they gained more recognition in the alt-rock scene.
They released the EPs Winter Net and Keep Walking! in 2018, and 2019 respectively, before releasing their debut album Deep Down Happy in June 2020.
Sports Team creates music that is eccentric at the core, and their song, “Here’s the Thing,” off their debut is bursting at the seams with oddness and authenticity.
The song is chaotic and raucous, thanks to spirited drumming, jangly guitar and the vocals of enigmatic frontman Alex Rice. I’d compare their energy and peculiarity to bands like The Libertines or Blur in their early stages.
The song follows the age-old adages that society revolves around, and calls them out for what they are: lies.
Things like “work hard and success will come your way” and “everything will turn out okay in the end” are platitudes that are comforting to hear when you are young, but once you grow up, you realize the underlying deceit of those statements.
Hard work doesn’t always pay off, things don’t always go the way you planned and life isn’t an idealistic romp through the daisies. And that’s okay. “Here’s the Thing,” through its sarcasm, makes the point that it’s better to be present in a reality that’s honest instead of one based on idealism and privileged ignorance.
The song almost seems to be laughing at itself, turning those clichés into something that we can ridicule and point at.
Sports Team, while still very early in their career, have all the makings of a weird but palatable sound, and have created a hilariously truthful anthem with, “Here’s the Thing.”
An existential jam encouraging realism towards how awful things can be is so dead-on for a year like 2020.
Featured image is a screenshot retrieved from Sports Team’s “Here’s the Thing” music video.