Black Swan Song

Album: Black Swan (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the death of frontman Joel Potts' grandfather. Pott said in publicity materials: "I've never experienced death like that. He'd lived a long, amazing life and he was really triumphant and positive about it."
  • Medieval Europeans used the supposedly mythical black swan as a metaphor for something which could not exist. Imagine their surprise, when in 1790 an explorer came across one in Australia. Pott said: "Millions of people had looked at the world in a certain way for so long. But it only took one sighting to blow it all apart." It is from this Black Swan Theory, that Athlete's fourth album takes its title. Pott explained: "We read an article about Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his book The Black Swan. He was saying that our lives are made up of a handful of significant shocks, good or bad. That's exactly how our journey has been over the last six years. We've had lots of unexpected highs and lows, as a band and as people."
  • Black Swan was helmed by the American producer Tom Rothrock (Foo Fighters, Elliot Smith, Elbow, Beck), who'd been convinced to be the man behind the controls after hearing some acoustic demos. Potts said: "It was great having Tom around. We knocked heads with him quite a lot, but I think all the best records are made when there's a little bit of stress around. We learnt an awful lot from him and he sharpened us in so many ways. Plus, the fact that one of the biggest producers in the world gave several months of his life to work with us after hearing a couple of demos was a real confidence booster."

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