SULKA is the vent for Glasgow-based Lukas Clasen to let loose lofi, low-key guitar loveliness out into our minds; and he’s just dropped a single culled from Take Care, his debut album for Eigg’s Lost Map.
“Hollow Days”, the lyric video for which we’ve installed at the bottom there, is a wholly huggable drop of kitchen sink alt.pop, bemoaning the sometimes unbearable lightness of it all; with a dovetailing video of city dusks, washing on lines, cow parsley down back alleys.
The tune is available now across all digital streaming platforms and has also been released as part of Lost Map’s PostMap Club subscription service
[It’s] possibly my favourite track on the record,” says Lukas of “Hollow Days”.
“I managed to sum up my lonely/reckless post-breakup headspace in the most accurate way, with a couple of fun word plays as well. ‘Drinking in all the expensive bars, hoping if I get lucky I’ll see stars,’ is my favourite line.”
Dedicated to the DIY ethos Lukas self-produces, engineers and plays all of the instruments on his homemade, anagrammatic recordings.
“I love music that comes from non-studio environments,” he says, “stuff where you can hear the imperfections and limitations.”
He’s released a steady stream of albums and EPs since 2017 via various local cassette labels and gravitated towards working solo out of, as he puts it, “a desire to make music that was more stripped back, dynamic and experimental”.
He draws on cited influences including (Sandy) Alex G, Elliott Smith, The Cribs and the more off-kilter end of Badly Drawn Boy’s catalogue.
“I wrote Take Care during the summer of 2019 during a bit of a transitionary period in my life,” Lukas explains.
“I was newly single after a very long stint of relationships, moving flat as well, starting a record label, going out and drinking a lot – quite a busy, chaotic time.
“This is what a lot of the lyrics are about, I think – coming to terms with being single, feeling a bit lonely and reckless.
“I knew I wanted this album to be a step up for me, so I was very deliberate about the whole process. I mapped the whole thing out before I started to record, decided on the song order, wrote all my lyrics and made to-do lists to keep me on track. It feels really nice to be here a year later, having followed through on my plan, and for it to be coming out on such a cool label.”
Johnny Lynch, boss of Lost Map, says of his debuting artist: “Lukas sent me his music over first lockdown, having heard a release we did earlier in the year by Good Dog.
“I was really taken by the strength of his songwriting, and the fact that the sound of his recordings were so fully realised. Although he performs with a live band, Lukas recorded all the instruments on this record himself, and that DIY spirit is something I’m always drawn to.
“Fear It” was the very first track I heard, and it’s a perfect introduction to his world – super-melodic, and with a propulsive energy that pulls the listener in.”
Sulka’s Take Care is available now digitally and as a limited edition cassette or CD, both accompanied by a printed zine; you can order yours over at Lost Map’s Bandcamp page.