Sundara Karma – Ulfilas’ Alphabet

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Sundara Karma 2019 press shot

It’s been a long two years since Sundara Karma released their debut album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, an album that was filled with energy, pouring with creativity and pushed them to be playing on huge stages, to even bigger audiences. One may say, ‘how can they top it?’. Yet with Ulfilas’ Alphabet, the band have completely excelled.

Since the release of their debut, Sundara Karma have evolved and reinvented themselves, from indie heartthrobs to goth kings, a revolution that is effortlessly clear within Ulfilas’ Alphabet, an album that proves that Sundara Karma can shape shift into an avant-garde masterpiece without any clear warning.

From its first announcement, we were made aware that this album isn’t going to be like the one before it. Its title is a reference to medieval German goth Ulfilas, who developed an alphabet in order to translate the Bible from Latin.

Sundara Karma – One Last Night On This Earth

Already the opening track proves that this album is going to be different. A Song For My Future Self is other-worldly that no one expect from the band. Synths, horns and various other instruments all merge effortlessly before Oscar Pollock’s recognisable vocals are unchained and we are greeted with a story of how progressive we are as humans. One Last Night On This Earth, the second single to be released from Ulfilas’ Alphabet, is a stunning track which is potentially the only one reminiscent of Sundara Karma’s former releases.

Higher States is nothing like Sundara Karma have ever produced in their past, which will have all listeners bouncing with excitement. It is truly infectious, a real feel good song that will certainly be one to look out for on the bands coming tour, and a highlight of the album.

The Changeover may be regarded as the ‘sad song’ of the album, a track that will most certainly remind listeners of David Bowie, highlighting how physical progression is inevitable, how we change as humans and develop. The tracks features some of the most stunning vocals and really puts Oscar Pollock’s theatricalism into the spotlight.

Sundara Karma – Little Smart Houses

Title track sees Sundara Karma venture even further out of their comfort zone. On this track, Oscar Pollock has experimented with his vocals, and it fits in so beautifully with the gothic theme. Ulfilas’ Alphabet will get you thinking as much as it will dancing, as the verses to this one are filled with dark meaning, yet get taken to a much higher level with the dramatic change in vocals that pair so effortlessly with Ally Baty’s insane guitar work.

Ulfilas’ Alphabet was recorded with producers Alex Robertshaw (of Everything Everything) and Stuart Price, and takes us on a journey through the digital gothic age. The structure of this album fully grasps the listener and takes their hand to take you on an adventure, where Oscar Pollock talks you through his thoughts and feelings on the world we live in.

Sundara Karma Ulfilas Alphabet cover artwork

Sundara Karma - Ulfilas’ Alphabet

Lasting Appeal


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Katie Macbeth

katie macbeth

Katie Macbeth is a freelance music journalist for Indie Is Not A Genre based out of Manchester, presenter of @drunktankthink, and post punk enthusiast.

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