Album Review: The K’s - I Wonder if the World Knows?


Niamh Kitson (she/her) reviews The K's debut album: an album that "packs a punch"

Article Image

Image by LAB Records

By Niamh Kitson

Seven years after their first single ‘Sarajevo’ was released to incredible reception, The K’s highly anticipated debut album I Wonder If The World Knows? is to be released on 5 April. After watching The K’s inject some energy into an otherwise lifeless crowd at a festival last summer, I have been closely following them, excited to see what this album would bring. As expected, the album packs a punch, but also displays The K’s ability to play with pace and strike an emotional cord for those quieter, more intimate moments in the setlist.

The album starts with strings on ‘Icarus’  – a beautiful introduction that bursts into life with Jamie Boyle’s distinctive voice relaying the story of how “feathers burn as I get too high/Icarus falls out of the sky”. Themes of getting close to success before crashing out are also prevalent elsewhere in the album, particularly on ‘Throw It All Away’, which explores self-doubt and struggles with identity. Similarly, on the single ‘No Place Like Home’: “I feel it coming all undone/ It’s something that I can’t outrun”. ‘No Place Like Home’ is fast-paced and angry, a real highlight on the album, which is sure to be one of my most listened to songs this year.

Long-term fans of the band will have kept an eagle eye on the tracklist, excited to see what tunes from The K’s ascent over the last several years have made the cut. Staples in their setlist such as ‘Aurora’, ‘Got a Feeling’ and ‘Glass Towns’ are perhaps more representative of an earlier era of The K’s and have not made the album. Instead, it is familiar singles such as ‘Hoping Maybe’, ‘Chancer’ and ‘Landmines’ that work to introduce the new material into an already established K’s back catalogue. One of the earlier releases on the album is 2022’s ‘Hometown’: a great song to bounce around to but, under the surface, the song is about a young man who is “so easily persuaded by his need to feel sedated” and  feels discontent with his place in life.

As such, a signature of The K’s songwriting style is its social conscience and storytelling regarding all too familiar issues, especially those relating to working class masculinity. This is definitely present on the album: ‘Black and Blue’, a tune the band put out at the end of February after the album's release date was postponed, which deals with the threat of violence from a local hard man and the consequences of volatile relationships.

Since they have a UK tour coming up this month and a number of festival appearances this summer, it is impossible to listen to the album without thinking about how it will manifest itself in front of a crowd. ‘Lights Go Down’ will certainly be a highlight. With lyrics that encourage you to appreciate those close to you, I can already picture the crowd taking a break from jumping around to hug their mates. Similarly, the album ends with ‘Valley One’, which has been the closing song of the I Wonder If The World Knows? launch shows. It's an end that allows the listener a moment to catch  their breath after an energetic album. As ‘Valley One’ was originally released in 2020, this ending pays homage to the fans who have been there for a long time. In a cyclical way, this tune, predominantly played on the piano, reintroduces the strings that opened the album, a new addition to the remastered album version of the song.

I Wonder If The World Knows? is a triumph for old and new fans of The K’s alike. While maintaining the dynamic essence of their previous work, this album delves deeper into the mature themes that the band has been exploring, resulting in a cohesive and refined collection of tracks. Make sure to catch The K’s at one of their shows this year to see what all of the hype is about.



4th - White Heaven, Yellow Earl  @

5th - Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena (as special guests of Red Rum Club)

6th - Hull, The Welly Club

7th - Bolton, The Met/Wax & Beans #

8th - Preston, Action

9th - Glasgow Assai

10th April - Warrington, Parr Hall

11th - Bolton, The Ramp/Wax & Beans #

12th - Cardiff, Tramshed

13th - Birmingham,O2 Institute

18th - Edinburgh, La Belle Angèle

19th - Newcastle Upon Tyne, NX

20th - Leeds, O2 Academy

21st - Shrewsbury, Albert’s Shed  @

26th - Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse

27th - Nottingham, Rock City

28th - Mexborough, Gorilla Beer Hall  @


2nd - London, Electric Ballroom

3rd - Brighton, Brighton Concorde 2

4th - Bristol Thekla

11th - Stockton, KU @

June 2024

20th-23rd - Isle Of Wight Festival +

July 2024

20th - Monument Festival +

25th-28th - Camp Bestival +

August 2024

1st-4th - Kendal Calling +

23rd - 25th - Reading & Leeds Festival +

25th - Manchester, Wythenshawe Park - Blossoms Big Bank Holiday Weekend

Intimate, acoustic shows

@ Outstore shows

  • Headline Tour Dates

  • Festival Dates