Single Review – Sundara Karma – Lakhey

Following the aberrant pop funk ventures of Explore, spirited indie rock outfit Sundara Karma revealed Lakhey, taken from the re-boot of their triumphant debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect. Although just as flamboyant as Explore, Lakhey aligns greater with what the LP already divulged, in the sense that it has the sense of euphoric indie rock at its core. The track opens with energetic percussion, with chords coming later to match. Oscar Pollock’s earthy warble engulfs an enthusiastic, anthemic chorus, paired with dreamy harmonies, while Baty, Cordell and Evans join to provide an equally vibrant backing track. The instrumental apex that concludes the song makes for an incredible ending, neatly tying together the fiery threads that build throughout. Fans of Sundara Karma’s lively attack and tireless fun will be bowing at the feet of the quartet for this irresistibly enjoyable track.

Eleanor Chivers

Single Review – Sundara Karma – Explore 

Indie-pop band Sundara Karma release new single ‘Explore’ as part of three new tracks, including ‘Lakhey’ and ‘Another Word For Beautiful’, all of which the band are adding to a new edition of their debut album ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ due for release July 7th via Chess Club/ RCA. Beginning in a spiral of jangled guitar ‘Explore’ sees Sundara Karma at their indie-rock pouty best with soaring guitar and some impassive vocal, there is even the slightest glimmer of a little funk hidden in the summer wave that seems to swell as the track breaks into it’s morbidly joyous chorus. 

Hayley Miller 

Sundara Karma – Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect Review 

Sundara Karma, an indie band based in Reading, just came out on the 6th of January with their debut album “Youth is only ever fun in retrospect”.

Sundara Karma is composed of four young members. Oscar Lulu, vocals and guitar, Haydn Evans on the drums, Ally Baty, guitar, and Dom Cordell plays the bass. Together they are a refreshing mix whose sound remembers Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, The Wombat and Fleet Foxes.

Trough the 12 songs of the album is a kind of post-punk, beat-led, version of arcade fire. The singer, Oscar Lulu, sounds like Win Butler from Arcade Fire but with a strong falsetto. They have a characteristic big polyphonic sound, built on big guitars, big drums and arpeggiated guitars. The singer has a mesmerizing voice which makes you totally sink in into this album.


‘Loveblood’, personal favourite to play of Oscar and Haydn, is upbeat with a catchy refrain which makes you want to move to the strong, rhythmic drums and guitar combination.

Sundara Karma slow down a bit in their track ‘The Night’ which sounds a bit darker than the rest. It starts with a nearly pulsating sound which prepares you for a short drum session and then the whole song is characterised by a very present steady but subtle presence of the bass played by Cordell.

The song ‘Vivienne’ starts in a very interesting with a combination of only drums and guitar way and feels a bit of a power ballade with a strong chorus about a nearly toxic relationship with a disengaged girl and the need to feel alive.

‘Happy Family’ starts with a guitar melody which will be in the background troughout the whole track. Lulus’ voice starts out melancholic but the song, and voice, cheer up as soon as the bass and bold drums set in.

The track ‘Be Nobody’ has a steady, not too fast rhythm with a lot of repetition in melody and text which makes it almost hypnotising. This song has some Fleeting Foxes elements to it without loosing the influence from Arcade Fire.

‘A young understanding’ is a bit more rocky than the others, more powerful. It starts out with ‘Hold on tight, you’ve got a way to go’. It could be an anthem for who has changes ahead, which is typical for young people. The song slows down for a strophe in the second half where the words are stressed, nearly dragged out.

‘Flames’ has a refreshing sound, good melody and intriguing lyrics. People listened to it nearly 3,000,000 times on Spotify.
All tracks lyrics are open for interpretation and the meaning varies depending on who tries to explain the meaning. This band has the potential to fill up stadiums, no wonder their upcoming gigs are mostly sold out!

They have great potential but they still need to find that little something that makes them stand out from the crowd and they should elaborate their lyrics more. Some might argue, that some songs are a bit too similar to each other but they sure are moving in the right direction. 

Sundara Karma – Youth is only ever fun in retrospect = 7/10 

Lea Fabbrini 


Musicandotherthingz Best Newcomer of 2016

For out Newcomers it’s been an exciting year. Some created viral moments, others received established backing and some of them finally got an album out. The exciting new rapping talents of Noname, the imaginative production of Bullion and the virtual one man band that is Jack Garratt all received strong support from out voters but they’re appearing in the following long list with the others. The top three are below and it got very close.

3. Maggie Rogers (17.78% of the vote) 

Millions of people have now seen the moment where an unsure and modest NYU music student plays her track to Pharrell Williams who was teaching a masterclass to the students there. After giving a lot of constructive criticism and technical feedback to the students, up comes Maggie. She explains her story and her struggles in that time and they play her track. The rest is history. Seeing the amazement strike Pharrell and seeing that turn into bewilderment at what he’s hearing whilst she sits, eyes to the floor, blissfully unaware is brilliant to watch and a testament to her talent. She’s heavily influenced by folk music and folk melodies, but she’s enthused these with a dance beat and nudging, delicate production. There is a direct link between the sound she’s creating and the narrative in her lyrics, that together paint a very vivid picture. A breath of fresh air.

2. Sundara Karma (23.33%) 

The Reading Indie rock quartet only just missed out on top spot in what was a rather tense vote. They are not too dissimilar from our winners in many Indie ways, but they ply their sound with a hint of glam rock finesse and attitude. They’ve just released their debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect and it will surely be picked up by teenagers across the country. These will be filling the venues and festivals the band play to and hopefully they’ll be able to go on a creative streak to match their festival and sing-a-long qualities. 

1. Blossoms (24.00%)

We’ve seen this before haven’t we? A bunch of ambitious lads from a Northern town who want to go on an conquer the world. If they follow the right path, then anything is possible for Blossoms. They differ from Sundara Karma in how they try varying degrees of popular rock music and take Pop elements to it as well. With the guiding hand of James Skelly as their producer, they’ve managed to put out brilliant singles and tracks destined for commercial success. They’ve got the hooks and the pop lyrics and with that it’s up to them where they take it from there. 

Owen Riddle