Super-limited edition vinyl run, with printed insert. PostMap Club subscribers, remember to use your discount! (check PostMap newsletter for code!)
Includes digital pre-order of Distractions.
You get 3 tracks now
(streaming via the free Bandcamp app
and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the
complete album the moment it’s released.
digital album releases September 29, 2023
item ships out within 5 days
Purchasable with gift card
Streaming + Download
Pre-order of Distractions. You get 3 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
Taken from his forthcoming brand-new album Distractions – due for release on limited-edition vinyl in association with Gold Mold Records on September 29, 2023 – ‘Weekend’ is the exquisite brand-new single from Sulka, AKA Glasgow-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and maestro of slanted DIY melodic rock Lukas Clasen. Available to stream and share now on digital platforms, as well as released via Lost Map’s PostMap Club monthly subscription service in June, ‘Weekend’ is a woozy mid-tempo gem about “drifting apart from people over time” which sets the template for Distractions’ themes of ennui and escapism. Originally demoed towards 2021’s stripped-back Front Door EP, but saved for a bigger production, the track was an “exercise in collaboration” as Lukas puts it, which saw him find a whole new way of working. Distractions is the follow up to Sulka’s incredible debut album for Lost Map, 2021’s Take Care.
Firmly rooted in the DIY ethos and aesthetic, Sulka began in 2017 as a bedroom project which saw Lukas self-producing, engineering and playing all of the instruments on his wholly home-made recordings. His first releases came out as a steady stream of albums and EPs via various cassette labels including Gold Mold, Death Collective, Common and Negative Hope. Heavily inspired by genre-mashing Bandcamp hero Alex G, Sulka’s breezy, intimate songs bring to mind the heart-felt melodicism of Eliott Smith, the ramshackle joy of Guided By Voices and the break-neck thrills of early Pavement. Performing live sometimes solo and sometimes with band, Sulka has opened for like-minded artists including PAWS, Sorry, Current Joys and Jeffrey Lewis & the Voltage.
Made during the pandemic and released in July 2021, Take Care was a fast, loose and loud blast of scuzzy melodicism which saw Sulka release with Lost Map for the first time. “The pandemic had a silver lining for me,” he says. “The lockdown allowed me to spend an endless amount of time mixing that album, which I think made it sound a lot more interesting. The release through Lost Map was a major boost to my profile and to my confidence as an artist, despite the drawbacks that came with releasing during a pandemic like not being able to tour or gig.” It was quickly followed by the Front Door EP, which saw Lukas develop the personal, confessional sensibility he had cultivated on Take Care; his vocals barely registering above a whisper, but feeling like they were being sung straight in your ear.
A departure from the DIY bedroom efforts of previous releases, Distractions is the first Sulka album to be recorded with a full live band and in collaboration with a producer, Chris McCrory – a two time Scottish Album of the Year Award nominated producer, songwriter and audio engineer from Glasgow, known publicly as the frontman of indie rock quartet Catholic Action.
“In February of 2022 I took my band on a little holiday to Lochwinnoch to hole up in a studio for a long weekend,” explains Lukas. “This is where we developed and rehearsed the songs that would make up the album. The front end consists of a handful of new tunes that I'd recently written, with the latter half being re-workings of some previously released tracks that I thought deserved some high-end studio treatment. The plan was to record these songs live in order to capture the energy of the band. I had been chatting to the producer Chris McCrory, who was interested to work with me after hearing the Front Door EP that had recently come out. I’m a big fan of his organic, vintage sounding recording style so was excited to collaborate with him on this record. We booked in some studio time over the summer at Chem 19 in Blantyre to record the live parts and some extra days in Green Door studio in Glasgow to record vocals and other overdubs. Chris and I then spent a number of sessions over the autumn getting the mixes finished. I found the experience of working with Chris and my band to be very liberating; I could really focus on my performance and feelings about the music without getting caught up in the technicalities of engineering.
“The title Distractions is a reference to the fleeting nature in which we interact with music in this age,” Lukas adds. “Without trying to sound too bitter, it came out of thinking about how months’ worth of hard work are boiled down to a small snippet in an Instagram story, that people listen to for a few seconds. It also aptly sums up the themes of escapism that are common to many of my songs and how music itself is one of the ways in which we can transcend the experience of day-to-day life.”