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Following the implosion of Washington, D.C.-based indie rock act Barcelona, singer/guitarist and soccer enthusiast Jason Korzen formed Sprites in 2002 to get away from the difficulties and musical compromises he hated that came with working in a band. As such, Korzen purposely created Sprites with the intention of its members being just a rotating cast of friends (devoid of the "backing band" label) who came together to hang out and perform, exclusive of commitment pressures. Korzen and his wife Amy remained the constants as various collaborators came and went, including former bandmates of his from Barcelona. He spent a long post-Barcelona winter cooped up in the basement recording demos on a four-track; these eventually turned into the songs for the debut Sprites offering, Starling, Spiders, Tiger and Sprites, released in early 2003 on March Records. Sparse instrumentation dotted the release, which was a departure from the synth indie pop sounds of his former band. Around the album's release, Sprites played sporadic shows, including the CMJ Festival in New York City and a brief tour with the Ocean Blue. Summer 2003 found them on the road with the Lucksmiths before the six-song EP Bionic Hands appeared in 2004 through Spain-based indie, Lejos Discos. The following year was spent writing their follow up, most of the songs being fleshed out in the rehearsal space with everyone playing live. Recorded and produced by Korzen himself — most everything performed on the record was by just him and Amy — the more new wave-inspired Modern Gameplay was issued in early September 2006 on Darla Records.