Sundara Karma – Ulfilas’ Alphabet

It's Sundara Karma becoming the band they always promised to become.
Label: RCAUK
Released: 1st March 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

For Sundara Karma, there’s freedom in expression. With jubilant hooks and enticing communal celebration, they’ve taken their place as a band who’ve grabbed hearts with a world of their own to explore. Across their debut ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’, they pointed to fizzing energy and a creativity that pushed the usual boundaries, and it saw them play bonafide huge stages because of it. Reinvention and revolution is the key though, and they both pulse through ‘Ulfilas Alphabet’, a record that doesn’t aim to jump to the top but practically redefine what the top even looks like.

It’s a kaleidoscope of different flairs and styles, all done to the fullest with booming confidence and roaring intimacy. Whether it’s ‘One Last Night On This Earth’ and its arms in the air party-pop of indie heights, the frantic electronic-hits of ‘Higher States’ or the bopping pop shimmers of ‘Little Smart Houses’ – every turn on ‘Ulfilas Alphabet’ is one amplified and daring in its colourful joy. Capturing a band fully firing on all cylinders, it’s a record that takes every dream and vision and lays out it front and centre – layers of artistry brought to the fore. Almost 90s-esque arena touches on the title-track rip and grow to a huge crescendo, ‘The Changeover’ pulling you in with a campfire gathering of warm reflection, ‘Rainbow Body’ throbbing with the underbelly of Queens Of The Stone Age. Every turn is undeniable, the sound of a band revelling in every second.

‘Ulfilas Alphabet’ isn’t just an exciting development on what came before, but a line in the sand. Adventurous, dazzling and rich with different flavours and flights – it’s Sundara Karma becoming the band they always promised to become. If you thought you knew Sundara Karma then think again, this is a band reborn.

Jamie Muir

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