The songs of Dublin’s Sprints are rooted in real experience, and real emotion. The approach is about being true, placing honesty at the heart of what they do. The goth-leaning, punk rock quartet comprises bassist Sam McCann, guitarist Colm O’Reilly, drummer Jack Callan, and Karla Chubb, their front person, who sings and plays guitar.
It has been a fascinating journey, she tells Clash. With revealing lyrics that address a range of topics, substance is presented in ways that are personable and relatable. “The only thing I ever talk about is my existential crisis that I'm always living in. The lyrics are autobiographical, and a bit spur of the moment, but it is all about identity. I think I struggled a lot with accepting myself, my flaws, my differences, and being queer.”
Abandonment is an issue she has been looking at. “I think a lot of us have experienced it, many of our friends have left. Obviously you're happy for them, but it comes with internal reflection.” The song ‘Little Fix’ is about the issue of identity, and about being a woman in music. “I always feel so self-conscious, even playing guitar now, it’s like no matter what I achieve, it's still always gonna be criticised.”
It is about the struggle with acceptance, she says. But then a song like ‘Im In a Band’ sounds much more tongue in cheek, they make fun of themselves and the whole idea of being in a band. “That anxiety pre-performance you get, where you're at the smoking area, in the bar and people ask you questions. I'm a nervous, introverted person, so I get very stressed, very anxious, before a gig. So it's about recent attention.”
Produced in collaboration with Dan Fox of Gilla Band, Nice Swan Records put out the band’s new release ‘A Modern Job’, the second EP from the group. Combining raw energy, hooks, and lyrical depth, it is a contemporary, crisp take on punk. But while hints of PJ Harvey, Bauhaus, Savages, and IDLES are traceable, Sprints create their own music reality, and it has been gaining recognition in the right places.
But there is more to their music; it’s about the blend of darkly layered tones, pulsating rhythms, heavy guitars, hooks, and raw explosivity ever-present in the song material, it all unfolds during the band’s live performances. They just completed a UK tour. Feeling inspired, it makes them talk with enthusiasm about the vitality of playing live, and how much they enjoy the relationships they continue to build with people that come to the shows. Many of them already sing the songs back at the group, to experience this early on is just remarkable.
Looking ahead, the band will take the vibrancy of their live performances to the next level with scheduled festival sets at SXSW and The Great Escape firmly scheduled in the diary. A debut album is on the cards, and the work for this will continue, they are determined to keep fine-tuning, it needs to be the very best that it can be.
Music is Sprints’ main passion, and their goal is to be able to live as musicians, it is one dream they share, and right now it does not at all seem so far-fetched, it’s within their reach, and it is something they can achieve, together.
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'A Modern Job' EP is out now.
Words: Susan Hansen
Photo Credit: Ste Murray
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