Sundara Karma

Sundara Karma


After weeks of telling people to check out Sundara Karma for them to look at me blankly and ask if that’s some sort of thai restaurant, it’s nice to see that the Berkshire-based indie rockers are finally in the spotlight. Supporting the likes of Circa Waves and the Wombats has certainly paid off as Manchester’s Soup Kitchen swells with a range of new admirers keen to see Sundara Karma embark on their own tour.

It’s Freshbloom which sets the scene for the night and the Californian surf-rock riff (reminiscent of The Drums’ debut) is enough to make you forget that it’s single-figure temperatures outside.

While many have compared the Sundaras to the likes of Swim Deep with their effortlessly-cool charity shop attire and tropical guitar licks, they prove to be so much more as they burn through stadium-ready anthem Flame. It’s humming bassline and gritty lyrics inspired by Plato’s philosophy add a darkness to their style. “I’m tired of watching the shadows on the wall… the shackles open, we’re finally free to bolt.” Escapism isn’t just a pipe dream for these four but a necessity and if they really do attract good karma, their determination alone will take them far.

Much to the crowd’s delight, Sundara Karma rattle through tracks from their earliest EPs which experiment with the shimmering world of shoe gazing and could actually be passed off as Slowdive covers. By now everyone is swaying – hypnotised by dreamily reverberated feedback and Oscar Lulu’s soaring vocals. We’re kept on our toes with the promise of a polished debut album and new tracks Runaway and Diamond Cutter forecast a full-force ascent to chart fame.

“Are you still with us Manchester?” we’re asked as the lead singer switches between guitars and tucks his hair behind his ears, as if to say they mean business. There’s little stage presence which is unexpected since the four have been christened as indie-Springsteens – but who needs it when you can set the place alight with glittering melodies and infectious choruses at the tender age of nineteen? Courteney Cox would no doubt be honoured to dance in the dark with them as they bounce into new single Vivienne which has it all – whirlwind summer romance, invigorating guitars and a jubilant rhythm.

The ten-track set is over all too soon but Sundara Karma give everything they’ve got to fan favourite Loveblood – and while a dedicated crowd chant the words one last time it’s almost frustrating that this four minute burst of energy hasn’t received the same treatment as Peace’sLost On Me. In a time and place where indie rock seems to have become so monotonous, Sundara Karma bring something new to the Soup Kitchen table and create an atmosphere more refreshing than Orange County sunshine.

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Amy-Lea Wright

A multimedia journalism student at MMU, thrives on red hot chili peppers, survives on instant noodles.