What we’re really looking forward to in 2021 are new records from some of the best bands around right now. Here, Julia Mason talks to Karla Chubb from Dublin based band SPRINTS, whose debut EP, Manifesto, you need to listen out for in 2021.
Being an independent musician was hard even before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. With venues being shut down, tours cancelled, and releases postponed, the ongoing pandemic has shaken up the music industry as a whole, and independent artists are among those whose livelihoods are most threatened by the global crisis. Despite all this, 2020 has been a prosperous year for new music and artists have been finding increasingly inventive ways of getting themselves seen and heard. For once, I think we can all be grateful for social media for keeping us entertained through the dark times. There is hope for the new year, though it may take some time to return to normal, we do have new music to look forward to.
JM: What have you missed most in 2020?
KC: Is it too obvious to say live music? Releasing music and not playing it live has been a surreal and strange experience. Mostly though I think we have missed each other. We write, play, drink, watch football and everything else together so with restrictions in Ireland being so tough, it’s been hard to not spend time together. We are very fortunate that a lot has worked out well for us this year though so we’re always trying to stay optimistic.
JM: Who are you inspired by musically?
KC: We’re very inspired by everyday life and the city around us. Dublin and the life we lead there with our friends and families definitely soundtracks our music and is the reference point for a lot of of our lyricism. Literature plays a big part in inspiration and influence also, from Yeats to Joyce to Margret Atwood and beyond. Musically we’re inspired by such a wide variety of genres but have found ourselves falling a lot into 90s grunge and gothic right now. PJ Harvey and Bauhaus have been on repeat.
JM: What is your songwriting process?
KC: As a fan, this is always the question I read about every band I listen too. I find it fascinating the nuances in everyone’s process but also the stark similarities. Our songwriting process has become more and more collaborative and more times than not it will be the music before the lyrics. I have found as my musical abilities improve I am more and more able to process and translate emotions and experiences into sound. It always starts with a feeling or an emotion I’m starting to portray. The lyrics then become literal interpretation or vocalising of that emotion.
JM: If you could choose anywhere to gig where would it be?
KC: Whelan’s in Dublin followed by Glastonbury.
JM: If I took a look inside your fridge right now what would I find?
KC: Beer, cheese and every condiment you can imagine. Especially Perinaise and Cholula.
JM: What are your immediate plans for 2021?
KC: Get into the studio in Feb/March and work on the next batch of songs. Our sound has evolved so much since we recorded Manifesto EP 1 and we can’t wait to show what we have been working on. We have a tour booked and optimistically crossing our fingers it will go ahead. With acts like the Rills and Magazines locked in as support, we just can’t wait to play for everyone again.
SPRINTS released 4 tracks in 2020 “Kissing Practice”, “The Cheek”, “Drones” and “Manifesto”. Their debut EP Manifesto is out in March 2021 on Nice Swan Records.
To hear more new music from SPRINTS, check out their Facebook page.
Please support your favourite independent artists by buying merch and music directly from them, and donate to your local venues that are at risk of closing down due to the pandemic.