After years of climbing the ranks of the Americana/alt-country circuit, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real were forced off the road by the pandemic. For Nelson, spawn of country music icon Willie Nelson, the road is a way of life. Like many other enterprising artists, Lukas took this newfound experience of isolation and turned it into a work of art, one perhaps more universal than anything he’s written before. The result is the new album from Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, A Few Stars Apart, out now.

From the lead single “Perennial Bloom (Back To You)” through the album closer “Smile”, A Few Stars Apart tells of singing through storm clouds and dancing in the rain. With the “Perennial Bloom” line “Someone beside me actually smiled without a mask,” the album is based in the reality of the pandemic while simultaneously staring out the window at the developing sunshine of normalcy. Additionally, the album arrives as the United States slowly returns to a state of pre-pandemic activity. A Few Stars Apart both stands as a testament to where we’ve been and also where we’re going.

Related: Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real Share Live Video Of Latest Single, “Throwin’ Away Your Love” [Watch]

“I’m from what one might say is the ultimate road family—I’ve been on the road my entire life,” Nelson said when the album was announced back in April. “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.”

He continues, “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. 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.”

Stream the new Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real album, A Few Stars Apart, via the player below. Physical copies of the album, including signed editions, are available for purchase here.

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – A Few Stars Apart

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real will celebrate the release of A Few Stars Apart with a brief run of shows throughout June. The intimate concerts will see the ensemble perform at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado (6/16)—the first show at the venue since before the pandemic—as well as Martyrs in Chicago (6/19); Basement East in Nashville (6/23); and Antone’s in their hometown of Austin (6/26). The band is also part of the lineup at the Grand Ole Opry on June 22nd. Tickets for the newly announced shows are currently sold out.