Saturday, August 05, 2023

The New Indie - Sundara Karma release new single ‘Baby Blue’

There are no other UK indie bands that have range like Reading four-piece Sundara Karma; they can make you want to dance, sing, cry, or sit alone for hours, all at the same time. 

Their highly anticipated third album, ‘Better Luck Next Time’, is out 27th October and if the rest of the album reflects the first two singles then indie fans everywhere are in for a treat. 

Following on from the first track ‘Friends Of Mine’, the new single, ‘Baby Blue’, has an extremely warm and nostalgic feel to it, touching on classic indie sounds of the 2010s that music fans, especially in the UK, find comfort in. There is no warning or preparation at the beginning of the track as it hits the listener with heavy electronic guitar from lead guitarist Ally, reminiscent of The Ramones and their household favourite ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’. Fast-paced lead guitar mixed with shouty vocals from frontman Oscar are the perfect combination that helps to create an inkling of American 80s punk, the perfect soundtrack for Ferris Bueller’s fence hopping montage on his day off. 

It is evident that lead vocalist Oscar is exploring his range in this new album. Back in the ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ era, the singer’s higher toned vocals are what made the album so soft and ethereal, matching the electro indie pop genre that continued throughout. Clearly, they are moving forward as Oscar provides deep, brooding masculine vocals, which have never been heard before. The man is a dark horse, he continues to surprise and impress with his vocal range. Not only is he a teenage icon with his funky outfits and flamboyant way of life, he now is breaking the laws of toxic masculinity, saying “yeah, I wear makeup but can still have a deep voice”. Hats off to you, Oscar. 

During the verses, there are simple crowd vocals singing along with Oscar, forcing the listener to yearn gigs and festivals, but it also reflects the Sundara Karma fan base, a community. Not only does it mimic sing-alongs at shows, but it represents a sort of unity within the song, a sense of togetherness. It’s special and warm. In contrast, it’s certainly easy to imagine the mosh pits in the sun to this song during festival season. Sundara Karma are covering a large amount of venues with their upcoming tour. The gig goers will have to be extra prepared when they perform ‘Baby Blue’; there will certainly be some high intensity moshing action. 

Ally’s stunning, exciting guitar solo in the bridge is the perfect way to split up this track. It’s obvious he turned his gain all the way up on his amp, it sounds almost electronic, fake even. Sundara Karma are definitely getting heavier with each album, like they’re getting more and more experimental, which is exactly what the fans need to see, the band growing up together. The single from the upcoming album represents this well. The embodiment of coming of age and unity, it’s what every teen needs to get them through the hard years. 

Izzi Glover 
Image: ‘Baby Blue’ Official Single Cover

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