UK Indie rock band Sundara Karma dropped their new album “Ulfilas’ Alphabet” today, the follow up to their gorgeous 2017 debut “Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect”. Being such a big fan of their first outing I was very excited for this to be released. But, how does their latest record stack up against their debut? Find out in the review below:
Sundara Karma have definetly gone a bit more experimental with their sophomore release whilst keeping a lot of what made their first album great. A clear standout again here is the lead vocals from the lead singer and guitarist “Lulu” Pollock. The album opens with a “A song for my younger self” a great opening pop/rock ballad giving Bowie vibes with Pollocks vocals and catchy guitar hooks.
Second track on the listing “One Last Night on this Earth” is easily a stand out here, a tale of extra terrestrial love. This has one of the most catchiest hooks on the entire album and memorable chorus that fans will no doubt be belting at their live shows. Sundara Karma certainly know how to defy expectations, progressing the core sound they built in their debut sonically taking it one step further.
Track “Greenhands” gives off classic Fleetwood Mac vibes with the songs main hook reminding me a lot of “Dreams”. It’s a very classic sounding tune and that’s what makes it so brilliant. Again it must be said that Pollock has one of the most distinct voices out there at the moment, again very reminiscent of Bowie. That distinct character gives Sundara massive appeal in the Indie scene.
Whilst, the album has very retro vibes it also has some nods to the modern day with the Siri voiced opening of “Illusions”. However, despite this tracks modern opening the verses of the song again have that very classic Bowie feel. When the chorus hits we get licks of auto tuned sounding vocals giving it a spacey feel, its quite excellent. Other standout tracks include “Higher States”, “Little Smart Houses” and “Symbol’s of Joy and Eternity”.
Overall, Sundara have managed an impressive feat here. Not many indie bands of this day and age create a follow up album that matches the heights of the first. Sundara have managed to create a record that progresses their sound sonically, whilst keeping in tact what made us love their first album so much. The group from Reading have shown they are ready to keep defying expectations, let’s hope there is much more to come.