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Oscar Pollock looks through the headlines, joins all the dots, peers to the very core of modern society, politics and social media, and senses crazy hands on the controls. “It’s like there’s this weird creepy clown who’s controlling everything and getting a real kick out of these bizarre things us humans are doing,” he considers. “Like, ‘oh my god, look what I can make them do now!’”
Forget the box, art rock sensations Sundara Karma think outside the whole damn packing plant. Their songs are personal reactions to art, literature and culture – Plato, Wilde, Bram Stoker, Manet, Buddha – that tackle topics from online self-obsession to consumer capitalism, the smokescreen of the nuclear family and the lies at the heart of the teenage dream.
Oscar, aged just twenty, is already emerging as the most captivating frontman of our times, plucking at the long, silvery thread of rock’n’roll androgyny that runs through Bowie, Bolan, Suede and My Chemical Romance while embracing high art, questioning The System, probing his darkest autobiographical depths and musing – jokingly – about the evil clowns controlling the Earth.
Add in a truckload of solid gold anthems that view classic noughties rock melodies through the modern indie prism of Arcade Fire and The Maccabees, and it’s no wonder Sundara Karma are being hailed as the bright future of alt-rock, a reputation built on a clash of exotic and ordinary that’s embedded deep in their roots.