For new bands everywhere, right now is - unsurprisingly - proving to be a challenging time. With gigs wiped out, the last twelve months have been particularly hard for any new artist whose identity is so intrinsically tied in with the visceral thrills of the live stage.
For Dublin quartet Sprints, that’s absolutely the case; one listen to the crunchy feedback that introduces their discordant track ‘Drones’ and you’ll understand exactly what they mean when they say they’re “such a live band”. But, as front woman Karla Chubb confirms, right now is about adapting to the situation and growing stronger from it.
“Looking at the EP now, it feels like [we recorded it] years ago!” she admits. Though debut release ‘Manifesto’ is only set to arrive at the end of this month, the band, says Karla, feel like they’ve already moved on to the next step in their career. “I feel like - with everything that’s happened in the world - priorities have shifted, and we’ve all grown and the band has matured so much so quickly because we’ve had to. We’re obviously really excited to have a physical release out there, but it almost feels like a different time.”
“The best way to describe the songwriting is like ‘pub chat’."
— Karla Chubb
It comes as little surprise then to learn that Sprints have already banked a whole host of new tracks, which are set to build on the incendiary foundations laid down on their first release. “We’re very raw and honest, and there’s no real fluff or theatrics around us. It’s just a very honest encounter of our lives and our day-to-day experiences,” says the singer of their ethos.
Take the band’s visceral breakthrough single ‘The Cheek’, which fiercly tackles misogyny and the festishisation of gay women, or the dark mantra of the EP’s title track, with its commanding lyrics and scorched vocals. “The best way to describe the songwriting is like ‘pub chat’; it’s issues that you normally gather around a table and chat to your friends about on a Friday night over a pint of Guinness,” Karla nods. “It’s all just very natural to us; I wanted to touch on a lot of the issues that are affecting us in Dublin - from dealing with the homelessness crisis or the economy. ‘The Cheek’ touches on sexual harassment. With the stuff that we’re working on now, I feel like we’re just developing even more in how to portray emotions through music.
“A lot of our music is kinda anxiety-inducing,” she adds, “or it’s based around emotions that you experience on a night out or the stresses in life. We’re trying to build on the textures and soundscapes and, while I think we’ve nailed the tone and the lyrics, now it’s about the musicality. We’re thinking a lot more about the performance, rather than just sitting in a room, writing a song. It’s become a lot more about us together, thinking ‘What are we really trying to do here?’”
With a focus and vision as clear as theirs, even without the usual live circuit to cut their teeth, Sprints are set to grow more fierce by the day.
As featured in the March 2021 issue of DIY, out now.