Sundara Karma – Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect

A showcase of three years work, Reading’s leading indie-stars have created enough firepower to ignite the UK festival circuit this year for certain.



Released: January 6th, 2017, Sony Music.

Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect might sound as if it’s going to be as convoluted as the title for The 1975’s second LP (I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It), but the four piece’s ambiguous debut, fortunately, doesn’t head towards the direction of being boring in fake complexity.

Instead, Sundara Karma plays to their strengths, which is creating accessible indie, that doesn’t shy away from the conventions of sing-along choruses, memorable riffs and an upbeat attitude that so many refuse to allow themselves to enjoy, without regarding it as a ‘guilty pleasure’.

It’s the next great British debut, in line to follow the likes of The Vaccines, Peace and Wolf Alice before them.

Previously released singles are a regular occurrence throughout Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, with A Young Understanding, Loveblood, Flame, She Said and Vivienne among the LP’s 12 tracks. While there’s something to be said about filling an LP mostly with previously released singles, Sundara Karma’s singles are that strong, that it basically makes sense for them to do so.

The bold, instant nature of Loveblood is exhilarating, kicking off the LP perfectly, following A Young Understanding’s opening. Then the juggernaut’s that are Flame and She Said, continue on providing Sundara Karma’s key strength, pure indie delights. Non-single tracks Lose the Feeling and Be Nobody equally, give …Retrospect an extra reason for both old and new fans to keep this LP on repeat, all the way towards May and even beyond that.

While it may seem lacklustre to those who anticipated an LP with more non-single tracks, Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect perfectly highlights what an indie debut needs to be, without being apologetic about it. The Reading four-piece mark their 3 years of work, with an LP that will undoubtedly become a favourite with today’s teenagers, avoiding the need to focus on being ‘cool’ and instead becoming accessible to virtually anyone who enjoys the simplicity of well-crafted indie.


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