Album Review: Sundara Karma Show “Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect”

How beautiful it is to feel so alive while how scary it is to feel so lost. In some ways, that is the essence of youth, stunning confusion, and the theme of Sundara Karma’s debut record Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect. The UK band brilliantly shows this perplexing essence by contrasting anthemic rhythms with pensive lyrics.


// young is an odd time because it is an in an internal clash between invincibility and anxiety. On one end, you feel like nothing can stop you, but, on the other, you feel as if everything is against you. This paradoxical mentality is what laces Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect as a “must-have” record for those who wish to hear a thoughtful, exuberant album on youthful hypocrisies. Each record is about the “escape plans” and “trap doors” every young heart falls into in believing that happiness is a destination you eventually reach rather than the stops we make on our life’s journey. For Sundara Karma, being young is funner when your looking back at your youth in a settled, safe distance. Songs like, “Happy Family”. “Deep Relief”, and “Be Nobody” are literally the musical embodiments for every time in your youth you”tried” to figure life out and gave up. Of course, youth, being a time of discovering one’ self, makes a person eager to have the answer to life, but Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect is like a 12 track realization that life has no answers because its not really about questions.

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// most approach life, especially youth, as a “quesiton-answer” complex, Sundara Karma believe that solutions and challenges are not the point of living, but a perspective of it. Their “if you divide your life as such, that is on you,” mindset is what helps to give Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect such fantastic lyricismEach song feels like a cross between a poem and a narrative. While some songs may have a literal protagonist, “Vivienne” and “Olympia”, others like, “A Young Understanding” and “Watching From Great Heights”, make you feel like you are the lead of Sundara Karma’s musical journey/ your own. Trying to embrace life is a universal struggle that Oscar Lulu has managed to embody through his vocals. Listening to him is like hearing light poke out of a dark hole; his voice duals between the hope you want to feel and the anguish you carry. Moreover, he has a voice that makes you want to hear Sundara Karma again and again.


// Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect is an excellent debut with each track being a “stand-out” that meshes modern rock with hints of psychedelia and folksily “bluesed” words. The drum and guitar arrangements sound as if they were composed in a neon-lit loop that circles you in the same way your thoughts can circle your mind. Such a sonic capacity is what makes each song so vivacious and anthemic that you have to stand to listen to this album as if you were saluting its greatness. Hence,  its enlivening compositions and Lulu’s voice make Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect an album to hear on repeat. You can deny the charm of a really good record, and Sundara Karma’s debut is really good.  To Buy Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect on January 6 and For More Information On Sundara Karma Click Here. 

A Young Understanding