Free and legal MP3: Sundara Karma (young British band w/ expansive sound)

This swaggering, open-hearted song is not something I’m expecting from four teenagers in the year 2013.

Sundara Karma

“Freshbloom” – Sundara Karma

So the four guys in this band are 17 years old. Combine that with how expansive and assured and un-gimmicky a song this is and there is hardly anything more to say. It is a strange and beautiful world.

Or, in any case, this swaggering, open-hearted song is not something I’m expecting from four teenagers in the year 2013. I like how confidently “Freshbloom” bases itself in one chord, as the entire introduction and then nearly the entire verse unfolds without a chord change. This is easy to do in a bad song but difficult to do in a good song; melodic fortitude is required. When the chord change finally happens, at 0:50, we then get an extra lyrical line that is either an addendum to the verse or a precursor to the chorus but is in any case a cool thing—an unusual songwriting twist that manages to catch the ear and yet not draw undue attention to itself at the same time. Delivering everything to us in fine fettle is singer Oscar Pollock (alternatively listed online as Oscar Lulu), and while I really didn’t want to dwell on how not-17 he sounds, I can’t help myself—in tone, in phrasing, in sheer presence, the guy is a pro, already. And his bandmates are right with him—I am especially enjoying guitarist Ally Baty’s ringing tones, which straddle a nifty line between majestic and matter-of-fact. Bonus points for the dreamy instrumental break during which the song first comes to an almost complete stop at 2:17 before gathering around a lean and powerful new guitar riff, adding some compelling wordless vocals, and generally succeeding in impressing the hell out of me.

“Freshbloom” is the first song released into the world by Sundara Karma. I hope it is not the last. Originally available to download via SoundCloud, now you’ve got to get it here or nowhere.

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