We know he’s talented. He’s produced over a hundred records. He’s played in multiple bands. He’s put out half a dozen solo albums. We all know Aaron Sprinkle is talented. But do you really know Aaron Sprinkle?
If you’ve listened to his latest record, you do.
Over the course of twenty years, Sprinkle’s life has been dedicated to creating and producing music. Outside of his own musical endeavors (playing in bands Poor Old Lu, Fair, and Rose Blossom Punch, and making his solo material), Sprinkle has engineered and molded records for countless talented musicians, building for himself the much-deserved reputation as an outstanding producer.
It’s through his exposure in the studio that he’s been able to cultivate his own style as an artist. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing people that inspire me,” he explains, “They push me to grow and explore and hone things that I wouldn’t have had on my radar before… like this record. You would have never heard anything like my new music on any other record I’ve done.”
Water & Guns, Sprinkle’s seventh solo album, is unlike anything he’s done before. Yes, exposure to varying musical styles expresses itself tangibly in each track, but there’s something new in the mix – his electronic roots. Reaching back to his musical beginnings, Sprinkle douses his new material in colorful synth, programmed percussion, and keys that sprout and flourish, making this his most vibrant record to date. It’s a pop album – its catchy melodies, synth, and acoustic guitar color the entirety of the record – but for Sprinkle, it’s more than that.
“I started making a record that I thought people would want me to make, and ended up making a record that I just really enjoyed,” he confesses, explaining, “I wanted to portray who I am now. I wanted this album to reflect me.” Musically it’s an epic, pop album. Lyrically, it’s a journal. The record’s upbeat sound juxtaposes its heavy message in a flawless marriage of playful purposefulness.
With songs that deal with topics from grace and blessings to sin and death, Sprinkle furthers, “this record took so long because I changed my mind in the middle of it – I thought no, this is isn’t what I want to do. I want to write about real things I’m dealing with.”
A perfect example is the track “Alright”, a song that could easily act as the album’s anthem. The lyrics, “When your life rips at the seams / When it seems like the worst is really happening / You can’t see the light / It’ll be alright” encourage perseverance through trial. The electronic, danceable track breathes joy in sound and hope in content.
Similarly is the springy track “River of Lead”, an optimistic sounding song that couples lively keys and an upbeat, sing-able chorus with a weighty lyrical topic. Singing about being consumed, Sprinkle delicately addresses human nature’s attraction to destructive behavior. The lyrics, “Down this river of lead I roll / Feel it pull me underneath / If the fire don’t kill me the water will / Feel it pull me underneath / Lay me down to sleep / I pray there’s something left to keep” transparently speaks to all-consuming struggles and the desperation for relief.
“Whisper Something”, “Heatstroke”, and “I’ve Missed You” offer the same mixture; profound lyrics that cover themes of reconciliation, death, and longing are woven within strong, accessible beats and addictive melodies. Sprinkle curated an album that speaks to both contemporary, pop-enthused music lovers and those thirsty for poetic lyrics that resonate.
“I want to relate to people,” says Sprinkle, “I wanted to be honest, both musically and lyrically. I’ve realized that every time I’ve been brutally honest in an intimate setting, I’ve never been greeted poorly. This is what I like, this is how I feel, this is who I am.”
This is Aaron Sprinkle. Enjoy.