January 30th, 2024
SPRINTS‘ debut album Letter to Self embodies their substantial evolution over the past 3 years. Transforming pain into truth, passion into purpose and perseverance into strength, the Dublin four-piece have steadily grown in stature, releasing two acclaimed EPs and building a fearsome live reputation. Letter to Self is the sound of Sprints consolidating and leveling up. Exhibiting their most vulnerable moments and imbuing their visceral garage-punk with a palpable sense of catharsis that we can all benefit from.
“Our only ethos in music is to write something that matters and that means something. It’s all about expressing our identities, and injecting our personalities into it.” – Karla
We caught up with SPRINTS at our NYC store for our newest session of Shoplifting. An invitation to roam the racks in pursuit of the recorded material which has most inspired and shaped their sound today. Be sure to check out their new album Letter To Self via City Slang.
Karla: The first one I’m going to do, it’s very, very basic; The Velvet Underground and Nico, but it is an album that essentially shaped my teenage years and I just love it. I recently rediscovered it and listened to it the last couple of weeks on repeat. I just think it’s like a really nice guitar work album. The artwork is iconic, I mean, I love Andy Warhol. I think sometimes the classics are classic for a reason. So, Jack made the suggestion of picking things that shaped my musical journey and points of my life. The next one is because I’ve not seen this, it’s Pixies’ 30th Anniversary edition of Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa (Come On Pilgrim… It’s Surfer Rosa). So, very selfishly, I picked this because I want to buy it for myself, but Pixies, I think, are a band that’s shaped a lot of our teenage years and SPRINTS in particular. I love Surfer Rosa. I think Doolittle as well is probably a majorly influential one for us. It’s noisy, it’s good, you put it on at the party and everyone’s going to enjoy it. Whenever we’re driving around tour Pixies are probably like 80% for playlists. The next one is one I’ve been loving recently, and that is Heavy Heavy by Young Fathers. I saw them for the first time ever when they were opening for Florence and The Machine and they were incredible. The drummer played standing up and after I was like, “Jack, you need to do this…” Like the tom work, the energy, the backing vocals, you just really feel it in your soul when they play. And the final one is Donna Summer’s Summer: The Original Hits. My girlfriend watched the documentary about her on the plane and she said it was really, really emotional but Donna Summer just reminds me of Pride and summer and festivals.
Jack: My first pick is Give It to the Sky: Arthur Russell’s Tower of Meaning Expanded by Peter Broderick and Ensemble 0. Peter Broderick did an in-store in a tiny tiny place in Dublin that probably fits like 20 people. It was their first time doing one and we were like how are they getting people inside? But it was really cool. It was just him and so it was stripped back, but he had loads of weird pedals and was making his voice do strange things. It was really nice. But yeah, it was meant to be the music for a production back when it was written. And then something happened and it wasn’t used for that and it got made into that album anyway. But I just think it’s really nice that his music is still kind of getting a new lease of life. I guess Peter Broderick does a lot of archival work with his music as well and through old tapes and stuff and he tries to bring things back into the world that haven’t been in it. I’ll stick with more recent stuff on my next one which is Afternoon X by Vanishing Twin. I only got into them recently enough like the last few months and they’re kind of my latest obsession. I was actually looking for this record in Dublin recently and couldn’t find it. They’re quite strange sounding and it sounds a bit scary, but in a fun kind of way. Their drummer is incredible and kind of an unusual drummer. And then the final one, I’ve gone with Bad Brains by Bad Brains. I remember vividly getting into Bad Brains when I was about 13 or 14 and just being like, what is this music? It was so unlike anything I’d listen to. So I think it might have been a book about Dave Grohl or something that I was reading and he was listing off his influences when he was a teenager, so he had got into bands like Bad Brains and Black Flag and Fugazi and all that around the same time. But yeah, especially with this album, like, when you’re listening it’s like super heavy and fucking crazy and then it just breaks into a really nice reggae song. It was like, what is going here? But yeah, it’s always kind of been a big album for me growing up.
Sam: First one I picked was In The End It Always Does by Japanese House because I just keep going back to it this year. There’s just something about her voice, it sounds sad on the surface, but it’s kind of uplifting, I think. The next one I picked is Brian Jonestown Massacre Abandon Ship. This is just like two songs on this, but they are like one of my favorite bands since I was young. But the song on here “Abandon Ship,” I’ve seen them play live twice, but they’ve only just released it and it’s 10 minutes of kind of the same thing over and over again, very Brian Jonestown. When they play it live they literally have like four or five guitars on stage and you’re like this really stupid and then 3 minutes in and you’re like, this is not stupid. And then I picked Hounds of Love because of the TV in our Airbnb, like every time we turn it on, it just keeps playing Kate Bush on YouTube. Like, you look up something on YouTube and then the video after it will just be Kate Bush. Obviously a really, really, really good album. So I think the TV is telling me to go back and listen to it.