LABEL: Fantasy Records
CAT NO: 7223697
1. We’ll Be Alright
2. Perennial Bloom (Back To You)
3. Throwin’ Away Your Love
4. A Few Stars Apart
5. No Reason
6. Leave ‘Em Behind
7. Wildest Dream
8. Giving You Away
9. Hand Me A Light
10. More Than We Can Handle
LUKAS NELSON & PROMISE OF THE REAL
– A Few Stars Apart
LP – Black Vinyl
For Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, the search was essential. After woodshedding on new material for the better part of a socially-distanced year, Lukas and the band arrived at RCA’s historic Studio A on Nashville’s famed Music Row in late 2020 with a clutch of songs they believed in, and the conviction that after all they’ve experienced together, their time was now.
Amidst the crescendo of their celebrated career-which includes six full-length albums, headlining tours, major festival appearances, extensive international road and recording work with Neil Young, and the acclaim that flowed from their contribution to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s, A Star Is Born-instinctively the band wanted to reach for something higher. Enter renowned producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile), whose collaborative, spontaneous approach has helped some of Nashville’s most talented, flourishing artists make the best of their particular magic.
A Few Stars Apart, the new LP from Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, was recorded over three immersive weeks and the upshot is unmistakable: a sound that’s considered, spacious, and beautifully lush, with Cobb’s masterful production every note is in service of the song. While the band’s constant work schedule has usually necessitated recording albums in intermittent sessions that stretched over many months, they now found themselves with a rare opportunity to go into the studio and record their songs at a somewhat relaxed pace. It was the ideal setting to allow Lukas’ expansive, soulful songwriting, the album’s dazzling vocal performances, and the band’s exquisite playing, to fully shine.
A Few Stars Apart is a journey through matters of the heart, alienation, spiritualism and simple joy; in many ways reflecting the collective consciousness of the time in which it was made. At once, both timeless and timely. From the start, the album opens with a warm, uplifting embrace on “Empires,” a much-needed reminder that “We can hold on through struggle and strife / Despite all the darkness, we’ll be alright”.
The band then soars on “Perennial Bloom” with its towering hook and anthemic chorus, before entrancing with “Throwin’ Away Your Love,” a syncopated, rootsy lament with echoes of The Band’s soulful Americana. On the insistent “Leave ’em Behind” fingerstyle guitar drives POTR’s message of empowerment and mantra of self-love. More highlights include the irresistible “Wildest Dream,” the tough-yet-tender “Giving You Away,” and “Hand Me A Light,” a gospel-tinged waltz. The album closes fittingly, leaving the listener with “Smile,” a ballad of undeniable, aching beauty. Inventive and agile, A Few Stars Apart delivers Promise of the Real at their best over these 11 gorgeously crafted tunes.