It is getting late on a Wednesday evening, and I’m sitting in the kitchen of the East Van house that all four members of Sprïng call home, surrounded by boxes containing CD copies of their debut album Celebrations. Living together “is like tour training!” is the apt description put forth by Ridley, the bass player, and the idea is that cohabitation will better prepare the band for the close quarters of a tour van. The simulation even extends beyond the home, with the band members taking turns driving their newly-acquired bus-turned RV around Vancouver, getting used to navigating city streets in their new travelling headquarters.
If this behaviour sounds calculated, that’s because precision is a familiar practice for the former SSRIs. When the established math-punk band underwent some lineup changes early last year, they soon decided a new name and a fresh start were in order. Celebrations features the technical mastery longtime fans have come to expect from SSRIs founders Elliot and Jo, but with a decidedly more accessible overall feel. The songs on Celebrations feature psychedelic melodies riding complex arrangements that reveal something new with each listen. While the softly sung vocals and slower tempos sound inviting, drummer Kevin assures me “a lot of these songs are actually a lot harder to play than the old stuff.”
The band recorded the album at home over the course of six months in Jo’s studio, a process that allowed them freedom to experiment with different sounds and to use their equipment to its full potential. Some songs came together piece by piece over time, while others such as lead single “Follow” were recorded quickly, after just a few practice takes. The result is a diverse-sounding record with lush, psychedelic arrangements and the kind of jaw-dropping displays of virtuosity that are sure to make any live show an unforgettable experience.
As I got ready to leave the house, the guys remarked that they would be up all night preparing for a tour up and down the US West Coast. They were visibly excited to get to use their new van and to take their new album on the road.
Celebrations (Self Released) is out March 4th. Catch Sprïng at The Rickshaw on March 7th.
By Justin Penney
Photo: Katie Huisman