I Wonder If The World Knows? is a debut of burgeoning brilliance that traverses through the years leading up to its creation as if exploring its own mind. Across twelve tracks, Earlestown originals, The K’s step into the skin of moments gone by and reimagine them thought for thought, note for note. Standing on the brink of an explosive career, the indie four-piece turn anecdotes into anthems guided by agile, socially charged lyrics and the kind of riffs destined to be chanted around arenas. If you want to have the world, you have to let the world have you. This album is The K’s first offering to the world – for a moment, it’s almost as if they own it.

Opening track ‘Icarus’ grows like an idea in motion. Delicate, orchestral strings expand into racing guitars as if imitating increasingly rapid breaths. If a heart rate made ambient sound, this would almost certainly be it. It seems fitting that the first song on a debut album would so effortlessly combine the sound of possibility with palpitating, doubtful lyrics- “feathers burn ‘cause I get too high, Icarus falls out of the sky.” It’s optimism and anxiety entwined. The sound of every neurone firing at once.

From a what if to a why not, ‘Chancer’ recounts a night out “separated from my mates,” but embracing the spontaneity of the early hours. It’s as fizzing and fresh as an unravelling memory. This album owes its life to stories. Every bad decision a blueprint. Every conversation a catalyst.

Laced within this fervorous atmosphere are moments of composure, gathered thought. ‘Lights Go Down’ has a gentle, cinematic quality that you could imagine being played under a spotlight or a single flickering lamp. As with every song on this album, it changes shape, the piano morphing into something unexpected as if being moulded before you on every listen. It’s a track that belongs before an encore. A future farewell sculpts itself.

In ‘Hometown’ and ‘Black and Blue’, that encore emerges. Candid and commanding, these tracks beg for the company of a crowd. The sight of smoke flares and fans stacked on top of each other, swaying with the chords, forms behind closed eyes. It’s a masterful change of pace. Cinema to stadium in a blink. This album could rearrange the atoms in the atmosphere.

With ‘Valley One’, the record ends almost as it started, classic, cured. Strings resurface like nerve endings leading you back to the beginning. You can still feel echoes of that opening freefall, “you’re out here devising a plan for me when I hit the ground.” In the familiar instrumental haze, you can’t help but think that the band’s career is destined to be just as full circle as their lyricism.

This spring they’ll embark on a headline tour followed by a series of summer supports for the likes of Liam Gallagher and Blossoms. It would seem the world has opened its arms to The K’s. I wonder if they know?

The K’s: I Wonder If The World Knows? – Out 5th April 2024

K’S – Black and Blue (Official Visualiser) (youtube.com)