This year has seen The Luka State power back to attention with their most aggressive, visceral and immediate songs to date, which fearlessly explore the darker shadows of modern working-class life. Now, the Winsford, Cheshire-based four-piece have stepped up their mission by announcing details of their sophomore album More Than This, which drops on 10th March 2023 alongside sharing its title track and new single, as well as announcing details of a major UK & European Tour kick starting on the 23rd March in Birmingham.The single More Than This is a fiery statement of intent, think early Arctic Monkeys multiplied by the breakneck urgency of Biffy Clyro and the sharp-tongued worldview of Paul Weller. It’s a damning portrait of a hungry family in broken Britain, as vocalist/guitarist Ellis Conrad hollers, “I’m late on the rent now and my kids go hungry for the third time this week / And I can’t deny that the system keeps failing me over and over again.”
It’s a heart-breaking tale and one that Conrad witnessed first-hand. During the pandemic he was working as a delivery driver, taking food parcels to struggling families. Each week he’d visit a single mother and her two sons. She sacrificed everything to provide for them, working two jobs but still struggling to get by. And in the weeks that followed, she lost both jobs. It’s a tragic tale set in the band’s home of Winsford (near both Manchester and Liverpool), but one that is being played out in repeat across the UK.Conrad says, “She was just inconsolable, but she invited me in, we sat down and we started having a conversation. She said, ‘I don’t know what to do. I don’t take drugs. I don’t do anything untoward. All I was trying to do was give my boys a life better than my own. I was working two jobs a week and now I have nothing. The system’s failed me, I feel like I deserve more than this.’ “It absolutely broke my heart. What she was saying wasn’t coming from a place of entitlement. It was her pleading for her basic human needs to be met. Food. Water. Shelter. Heat. It was made worse by the fact she was a parent, and I can imagine millions of parents are still going through a similar experience.”
The song provides a taste of the new album, an incredible personal set of songs which saw the band – completed by childhood friends Sam Bell (bass, vocals), Lewis Pusey (guitar) and Jake Barnabas (drums) – put their heart and soul into the project. They started the record shortly after their self-funded debut album Fall In Fall Out was released in the midst of the pandemic, a time when songwriting became a rare form of escapism from the gloom around them. But when the world opened up and the band could return to the stage, they found legions of fans who had connected with their debut album’s punchy stories of hometown life and knew every word.
Listen to the title track from More Than This below:
The bulk of the album was recorded at The Motor Museum in Liverpool with producers Dan Austin (You Me At Six, Pixies) and the Grammy Award-winning Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse). It’s a small space, chosen to reflect the claustrophobia and tension that the songs were written in.Conrad explains the universal meaning behind the album title: “More Than This is a message, a rally call – people just need to realise and fight for what they’re worth”.
More Than This is now available to pre-order HERE. All pre-orders will receive recent instant downloads of the title track as well as the recent singles Oxygen Thief, Bring Us Down and Stick Around. This year has seen The Luka State embark upon their debut North American headline tour, which also included a set at the Louder Than Life festival while a highlight of their UK shows came when they packed the tent at 2000trees. They complete a run of intimate, full-intensity album preview shows by headlining Glasgow’s Attic this Saturday, November 12th, and have just announced details of a major 2023 UK and European tour in support of More Than This, tickets for which are available from 11th November HERE.
The Luka State will play the following 2023 UK & European headline shows:
24th: Bristol, Crofters
25th: Southampton, Heartbreakers
31st: Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club
13th: Cologne, Helios37
14th: Berlin, Maschinenhaus
15th: Amsterdam, Paradise Bitterzoet
21st: Manchester, Academy 3