Sprinter is the second album by Torres, a.k.a. Mackenzie Scott from Macon, Georgia. It was one of my Top 5 Albums of 2015 So Far, and it's another great example of that 'power from powerlessness' thing that I mentioned a fortnight ago.
This song is all about running away; more specifically, it seems to deal with Mackenzie Scott's choice to run away from her stifling baptist church upbringing. Now, running away is usually thought of as a cowardly thing to do - a braver soul would stay and face her problems, right? - but through Sprinter, Torres finds empowerment in her choice to run away. She's not taking the coward's way out; rather, she's exercising her freedom, taking her life into her own hands. The title of the song (and indeed the album) reflects this perfectly: a 'sprinter' is not a coward or a weakling but a powerful athlete who gains fame and glory from running.
It's interesting to contrast Sprinter with a slightly older song about running: Turn Tail by the Young Knives.
Turn Tail also finds a kind of power in running away, but this time, the power comes from admitting one's powerlessness rather than from escaping it. The song's big lyrical hook (first heard at 2:44) is as follows:
"Turn tail and run,
Turn tail and run,
I will turn tail and run,
I will turn tail and run."Unlike Mackenzie Scott, who quite convincingly tells us that running away is a brave and empowering thing to do, the Dartnall brothers embrace their own cowardice, clutching it to their chests and turning it into something like a mantra. This chant, bizarrely, ends up making the narrator of Turn Tail sound very powerful indeed; his unerring commitment to running away almost seems like a point of pride, and by completely surrendering control ("We're all slaves on this ship, this ship's sinking"), he finds a new kind of power in his choice to do so.
So don't feel bad next time you choose to run away from your problems - if Torres and the Young Knives can find power in that choice, then so can you. As The Burning Hell themselves say, sometimes you have to let things slip away.