In the ever-growing pool of UK talent, it can be hard to stand out, however Sundara Karma are doing so with their take on indie rock, highlighting their names on the one to watch list. GoldenPlec had a chance to chat to lead singer and guitarist Oscar Pollock ahead of their show in Rough Trade, New York.
Sundara Karma have been spending a decent amount of time in the U.S. of late – an accomplishment many bands aspire to. Recently, they played shows at the renowned South By South West Festival. “South By was wicked,” Pollock says. “It was something we’ve always wanted to play. We did eight shows. It was probably the craziest things we’ve ever done. It’d definitely be the most shows we’ve done in a week – my voice was fucked,” He laughs, “I had to drink a whole bottle of honey.”
Their debut album, ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’, was released in January of this year. The first album release can come with a certain amount of nerves and stress. However, this was not the case for Sundara Karma, Pollock explains, as they were proud enough of the album for them to not be too worried about it, “It was done for so long. It had been done for about six months. All the apprehension about it was able to come and go.”
Their video for ‘Happy Family’ – released at the end of March – showcases a more emotional side to the group. “That was all down to the director.” Pollock explains, “[The idea] made me nearly well up because it kind of reflected on my past and growing up.”
However, going back to one of the songs that really started to get their name out there, ‘Loveblood’, one which hit the airwaves by storm but also resonates with a live audience, as can be clearly seen in their live show. This song was written when Pollock was only 14. “I put it aside for a few years and let it do its thing naturally.” The fact that something he created at such a young age has now become such a success is “kind of weird for me, like fucking hell.”
Playing a record store and venue here in New York, the conversation turns to the return of the record shop. Pollock talks about how it’s easy to forget that not everyone is on board with the art form. “It’s always a bit difficult because we limit ourselves to our groups of friends, who are all like-minded so it’s hard to get a proper view on where the whole world is at. All our friends have vinyl, there’s quite a big market there… If there’s a hand-full of people to keep something alive, I don’t see how it will die.”
Coming into the summer, Sundara Karma are set to play a variety of festivals. Including their hometown: Reading Festival. “We’ve played the festival three years now, it’s still really exciting,” Pollock says. “When we first went when we were younger, we went to the NME Radio 1 tent. For the first time this year were actually playing that stage so I think this is gonna be perhaps the most special year.”
As for the next few months, not much can be said yet but Pollock assures us, “we have a few cheeky things up our sleeves.” The band are set to start their festival run at the end of May and it looks like the rest of the year is going to be an exciting time for the band. It seems to be very much only the beginning for Sundara Karma.