Released: April 28
The Lottery Winners unleash a conceptual collection of 10 anxiety-ridden anthems with their aptly-titled third LP.
Conceived in the wake of the Covid years, ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’ follows the group’s breakthrough records ‘The Lottery Winners’ (2020) and ‘Something to Leave the House For’ (2022), with its subject matter taking a path through a spell of mental health struggles.
‘It shakes me like a hurricane / A fly in my lemonade / Cuts me like a razor blade / All of the mistakes that I have made,’ sings frontman Thom Rylance on opening track Worry, serving as an introduction to an album that reflects his personal journey in recent years.
“Each of the albums in my collection are a self-help tape for me,” explains the vocalist. “If I listen to Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’, it’s because I know it’ll put me in a good mood. If I play ‘The Queen Is Dead’ by The Smiths, it’s because I want to embrace feeling sad. We wanted to present ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’ as a self-help tape for anyone playing it.”
Bassist Kate Lloyd adds: “We know how much our band means to people. If this album gives support to anyone and helps keep them going, that’d mean more than anything.”
The songs themselves are loud and bombastic; a guise for the thinly-veiled lyrical content that speaks openly on various stages of mental illness, from depression and stress to reclusiveness and obsessiveness. Sertraline – named after the antidepressant – is perhaps the most obvious example, with tracks like Burning House and Jennie also uptempo rockers with deeper, often darker messages buried beneath the noise.
Of the mid tempo moments, Long Way Down is instantly classic, with an overarching nineties influence that’s both throwback yet authentic – apt for a collection that features contributions from musical greats like Boy George, Frank Turner and Shaun Ryder.
“Having the brains of people like Shaun, Frank and George on our work is incredible,” adds Thom of their contributions to Money, Letter To Myself and Let Me Down, respectively. “I feel humbled to be in a position where our idols say yes to us.”
Bookended with interludes from a mystery narrator, it’s an album to be played front-to-back, with its closing track and title song a hypnotic number that ties together the songs and themes across the LP for an oddly-unsettling conclusion that once again feeds into the concept.
Arriving at the tail end of an influx of mental health albums birthed during the pandemic, ‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’ stands out for several reasons; a concept album at its core, the project is intrinsically personal yet speaks to a range of emotions that have become a part of everyday living for many, for a finely-crafted collection of commercial hits that pack a meaningful punch.
‘Anxiety Replacement Therapy’ is available to pre-order now.