A Few Stars Apart, the new album from Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, is a testament to finding a human connection: between close family and friends, as well as one’s own heart. These 11 songs reveal what it means to come home again, to be still, and to find community—and yourself.
Riding out the beginning of the pandemic with his parents and his brother, Grammy Award-winning Nelson was forced to hit pause in 2020 for the first time in his life. He and his acclaimed band had toured relentlessly for more than a decade, playing countless sold-out one-night shows and festivals around the world and occasionally serving as Neil Young’s road band. For the longest stretch of time in his life, Nelson was forced to find stillness, connection and inspiration in life’s simplest joys.
“I’m from what one might say is the ultimate road family—I’ve been on the road my entire life. I’ve never been anywhere longer than three months, and suddenly here we are, the four of us together. And thank god we were together. I can’t remember the last time we had that much time together as a family. We had a lot of really important bonding that happened during that time. And I have to say, as terrible as the pandemic has been in so many ways, for my inner peace, I was able to take a lot of good from this time. I was able to pause and reflect.”
Recorded over three weeks at Nashville’s RCA Studio A with producer Dave Cobb, the collection was cut on eight-track tape, giving it an analog warmth that mirrors the genuine nature of Nelson’s original songwriting. Listening to A Few Stars Apart, it’s clear that he has absorbed the lyricism of his Texas heroes. Yet there’s an ease in these recordings that may be traced to his own formative experiences in Maui, where he spent much of his childhood and now primarily calls home.
“It took me a really long time to come back to the home in my heart. In a physical sense, that’s Texas and Hawaii. But in a spiritual sense as well—I think I finally decided not to run from who I am and who I am destined to be,” says Nelson. “First and foremost, that’s a songwriter. That’s what this record means to me. There’s a story being told through the whole record. A story about connection and coming home.”