Beginning life as the solo project of frontman Neil Jarvis, Sprinters first emerged back in 2017 with their self-titled debut album on Icecapades. Two years later, and now a four-piece band, the band have recently released their second album, Struck Gold, on the Madrid-based Meritorio Records.
Struck Gold is something of a re-invention for the band, the indie-pop that emerged from Neil’s solo songwriting largely removed and replaced with songs that are noisier, sharper and more focused than ever before. The result of taking a year out to focus entirely on this new record, the tracks on Struck Gold seem to push Sprinters’ sound, like ripples emerging from an indie-pop pebble; the gentle janglers are lusher and more swoonsome, the angular numbers are crisper, the noisier sections, terrifically loud and thrilling. A beautifully crafted collection, Struck Gold by name, Struck Gold by nature.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Sprinters?
Well it started as just a solo project playing under my own name, and it was very lo-fi/ambient/dream pop initially. Loads of reverb, phasers and delay, soundscapes, with a few songs with vocals in between. I put out a few cassette albums on On The Grind Records. When I started playing live more in Manchester, I got a backing band and that’s when it started to evolve into more linear songwriting. I was taking influence more from indie pop bands like Pavement, Real Estate, Ariel Pink. That’s when Sprinters really started off and we finally settled on permanent line-up with myself Jon Hodson and Sam Almond with guitarists coming and going along the way. We played a lot in Manchester, playing shows with of our favourite local bands like Horsebeach, Duds, Aldous RH, and supporting touring bands like Chastity Belt and Holy Wave. We put our self-titled debut album on Manchester’s Icecapades label in 2017, then took last year off to record our second album and have just released ‘Struck Gold’ on Madrid based label Meritorio Records.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
The first official Sprinters show was supporting La Luz at The Eagle Inn in Salford. I’d previously been playing under my own name Neil Jarvis Band, but wanted to go with a band name and develop it more. We announced it as our first proper Sprinters gig. There was a really good rider on the night I remember, and it was a bit of a rowdy gig – our drummer at the time somehow ended up on stage compèring for La Luz throughout their set. It was a lot of fun.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
It’s always been the best form of escapism for me really. From being a kid discovering bands on MTV when I got home from school. I’ve always played in bands since being a teenager. It’s just something that I need to do even though it can be a love/hate thing.
FTR: What can people expect from the Sprinters live show?
Well, it took me a few years to realise drinking before playing is a terrible idea. But we’re a lot tighter as a band now. Unpredictability is probably the best answer I can give. We’ve had such a mix bag of live shows and are all very different personalities in the band .I’d say that we’re pretty loud. The sound person is always telling us to turn down.
FTR: What’s next for Sprinters?
We’re doing a tour early next year to promote ‘Struck Gold’, and hopefully playing some festivals in the summer. We’re also looking at playing some shows over in Spain with the help from our label. Then after that, I will probably try and convince the others to record another album.
They Listen To…
1. Oh Sees – The Daily Heavy
2. Weyes Blood- Andromeda
3. Spinning Coin – Not A Dream
4. Martin Frawley – Chain Reaction
5. Juan Wauters – Dos
Struck Gold is out now via Meritorio Records. Click HERE for more information on Sprinters.