A few days ago our esoteric touched favourites Sundara Karma surprised us with a video for new single Explore. They’ve always proven that their songs offer more than a catchy tune and mediocre lyrics to scream your lungs out to, but Explore really takes things to a different level. It’s a beautiful, but brutally honest track describing and maybe even mildly deriding the modern day converse between bands and fans, in particular addressing the excessive adoration of band members.
Sundara Karma start off their ramble by comparing a gig to an execution („Buy your tickets for the execution, The kids are lined up for a prosecution“). It’s quite easy to draw the parallels, making the band the victims awaiting their death while being presented on stage, to entertain the crowd. Instead of actually being hung, the band performes an act on stage, which similar to an execution, only lasts as long as they feel the need to meet the expectations („Give up the freak show binge“). Nevertheless the execution never really comes to an end since the kids not only desperately devote themselves to the band while seeing them in flesh, but go home just to stare at their faces once again, making the only difference that they are now looking at posters instead of actual beings („And they’ve hung us all, On their bedroom walls“).
Irony makes its mark when the camera focusses on Oscar in a car wearing a bold full make up look singing „I’ve never seen so many pale males, But I’m the dullest in this fairytale, In my khaki crown, And colourless gown“, willing to make a fool of himself and take on the character that he has been given, a role written by the fans. Being so focused on this unnatural world the fans blend out that the actions they are presented with are to beguile them. Everything is fully calculated and the band performing knows exactly what they are doing. They’re not trying to mislead or fool you, they merely take on this act to protect themselves in the superficial and demanding position they were put in. The audience takes in the creative content and gig experience with young naivity, not questioning any of it („Innocent and happy smiles, So amused and so unaware of death„). They are not aware that the shows are staged and purely an act. They tweet about Oscar being their lifetime MCM (which is fine and honestly same), but don’t realize the paradox in singing along to Explore, which calls out on this behaviour and simultaneously continue to worship their idols to such an in the song accurately described extent. If both sides are aware that this is (at least on stage) not an honest interaction it surely is fun to play pretend.
Clearly Sundara Karma have once again outdone themselves and it’s safe to say that Explore can give you a lot to think about if you are willing to.
Have a look at this masterpiece here: