Sundara Karma – Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect

Sundara Karma are a band who not only are destined to hit the highest heights, but more importantly are needed there.

‘Album’ of ‘the Week’

Sundara Karma – Youth Is Only Ever Fun In RetrospectLabel: Chess Club Records
Released: 6th January 2017
Rating: ★★★★

For most bands, a debut album is an opening gambit that in the space of 10-12 tracks manages to summarise the various corners of what that band is about. ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ is something more than that, a collection of tracks that not only unveils Sundara Karma to the world, but summarises the collective depths and highs of growing up. Its flourishing corners and crooks are what make it such an essential album, combining the best of modern indie into a delectable mix that’ll be sampled in headphones and headline shows in no time.

There’s an instant hit to the album that doesn’t just limit itself to one lane. The glorious bubblegum-catchiness of ‘She Said’ is the sort of direct punch that would land its mark no matter what era it was born in, whilst the high-octane sheen of ‘Loveblood’, ‘Vivienne’ and ‘Olympia’ sound ready-made for the destined monumental live moments that’ll live with this band from here on out. It’s coated in such richness that it defines what an album is meant to be; a statement of who this band is and what they’re ready to accomplish.

Its personal tales of youthful struggle glisten to such heady heights that you’re left listening again and again. ‘Happy Family’ lifts with an early-Kings Of Leon urgency that delves right into family heartbreak with an unfaltering honesty, the chilling refrains of ‘Be Nobody’ twist with shadowy beats and echo-filled dreams and ‘Flame’ lives in a dazzling swagger of its own – combining Greek philosophy with 2017 in one deft swoop. This is a band with the vision of something bigger, and the ability to create a world that houses every corner of their imagination.

Expansive and painting its own picture of 2017 already, ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ is a record that bursts away from the very idea of a debut album. Surging to get out the gates, it’s full of refreshing honesty and picturesque landscapes that’ll have you hooked on the very first listen. It signals Sundara Karma as a band who not only are destined to stand in the brightest of lights, but more importantly are needed there. Jamie Muir