The Cambridge university graduates come indie post-punk provocateurs are back with new music and a joyous fever-dream video of Happy (God’s Own Country). The track is the band’s confident first new offering since their Mercury Prize nominated debut album Deep Down Happy. Happy is an energetic yet pessimistic forecast that leaves us wondering, are they really happy now?
Finding poetics in the political and mundane, this countryside drama sets out the band in their satirised ‘God’s Own Country’. The song’s alternative title, God’s Own Country describes the land supposedly favoured by God. However, Sports Team proves that any self-proclaimed ideal spot – like this quaint village – is liable to have darkness lying beneath the surface. The video opens with a cursed image of muddied sweet corn with an alarmingly soiled bite taken out of the corn, then cuts to Ben Mack, the keyboardist, dressed in full Wicker Man attire.

“We recorded this at the end of last year at a time when it was hard not to feel exhausted by the scale of insincerity everywhere. It’s a sort of Cold War Steve collage, a cut and paste diorama of cronyism, cottagecore and window-dressed Toryism, with the frustrated energy of live performance without a stage.” the band explains. Poking fun at elitist closed circle communities the “diorama of cronyism”, a little museum-model of hiring your friends when you’re in power, sees doors slammed in the faces of the begging, hippily dressed band.

The sleepy fields soon descend into nightmares, as the inevitable Wicker Man fire is approached in blurred panic, cheery song and concerned lyrics, “Cottagecore, and Market-Ethics, that Soho House, Alt-Right Aesthetic, is Taking Over”. Video effects reminiscent of the anxious sponge-bob meme accompany this. Contrastingly, the song keeps up the energetic tight strumming. As Ben Mack (or The Wicker Man) goes up in flames, a glimmer of Sports Team’s early single ‘Stanton’ - named after the fire warden from their Cambridge college who would stand at a barrow, shouting: ‘I’ve seen people burn to death!’ -comes to mind as the floating embers see the song draw to a close.