SPRINTS

Wednesday, October 02
Doors: 7pm : Show: 8pm
$20
“This is an exploration of pain, passion and perseverance.”

The dedication for Sprints’ debut album serves as a neat summation of their story so far. Transforming pain into truth, passion into purpose and perseverance into strength, the Dublin four-piece have steadily grown in stature over the last three years, sharing two acclaimed EPs and building a fearsome live reputation opening for the likes of Yard Act and Suede. Letter To Self is the sound of Sprints co levelling up once again, revisiting their most vulnerable moments and imbuing their visceral garage-punk with a palpable sense of catharsis that we can all benefit from.

Singer, guitarist and lead-songwriter Karla Chubb has never shied away from confronting inner turmoil. Born in Dublin, she spent a portion of her early childhood in Germany, initially turning to music as a consequence of feeling out-of-step with the world. “I lived in a constant state of existential crisis,” she recalls. “Music became an outlet for emotion, and a way for me to understand myself and society.”

The foundations for Sprints were laid when Karla met guitarist Colm O’Reilly and drummer Jack Callan — childhood friends who’d been playing music together since the age of 10. Recruiting bassist Sam McCann to complete the line-up, the quartet found their sound after seeing Savages play Electric Picnic in 2016.

“Seeing the energy of Jehnny Beth and those gnarly guitars totally captivated us,” Jack explains. Karla continues, “I’ve always loved anger-fuelled music but I had fallen into the trap of writing what felt least offensive, simply because I saw anger as a negative emotion, rather than something that can be therapeutic and cathartic. [After watching Savages] I decided I don’t really care how I’m interpreted — I’m just going to write exactly what I feel.”

No longer second-guessing their sound, by 2019 the band were naturally gravitating towards abrasive punk-rock, synthesising influences ranging from early Pixies, Bauhaus and Siouxsie Sioux to King Gizzard, IDLES and LCD Soundsystem. “It was about being honest and energetic, and making people a little uncomfortable at the same time, whether that was musically or thematically,” says Karla, smiling. “Like: sadness or anger, but make it danceable.”

Principled and plain-spoken, Karla has always used her platform to address inequality. Debut single ‘The Cheek’ skewered the misogynistic fetishisation she’s experienced as a bi-sexual, while the title track of their 2021 EP Manifesto was inspired by the campaign for Repeal The 8th, and women’s ongoing fight for bodily autonomy. A statement of intent, that four-track collection was their first collaboration with Daniel Fox of Gilla Band. In 2022, they shared their second, in the shape of A Modern Job.

Praised by NME as “darkly defiant,” the EP saw Karla occupying what she describes as “a more self-conscious space,” laying bare her insecurities and detailing the ongoing mental health journeys within the band. For Letter To Self, the band dug even deeper, transforming so-called “negative energy” into an opportunity for communal catharsis and healing. Recorded in 12 days with Daniel Fox at Black Box Studios, in the Loire Valley, Karla describes the process as “an amazingly positive experience.”

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