Luke Wallace, acclaimed folk, Americana singer-song writer, embodies a new wave of politically charged folk music, writing the soundtrack for a movement of people rising up to meet the social and environmental challenges of our times. He is on a simple mission with this record, to help people find their voice and as he says “to step into the world, no matter how dark, and shine a light on both the beauty and injustice so prevalent today.” Luke Wallace has hit his stride on his new album, What On Earth, set for release on March 6th on Come to Life Music.
Based in British Columbia, Luke Wallace embarked on his musical career in 2015. Following the release of his critically acclaimed thousand-voice live album, Us, Luke has received incredible support by fans and tastemakers alike with regular radio play on CBC’s NxNW. He also recently performed at two of BC’s biggest Folk and Roots festivals in 2019 including Salmon Arm Roots and Blues and Vancouver Island Music Fest. His Roots and Blues performance was elevated by an epic finale song shared alongside folk legends Valdy and Irish Mythen, on the main stage. Now on his 5th release, and with 6 years of touring the coast carrying an unwavering message of unity and justice, Luke Wallace has found his voice on his newest album, What on Earth.
What on Earth is 9 tracks of uplifting lyricism, hooky choruses and a writing style that marks new terrain for a songwriter who has found his voice. With this album, Luke takes a deep dive into introspection and spirituality, and marries it with his political-folk writing style raising his sound to a new level of clarity. Wallace reflects, “What on Earth is rooted in my grappling of an increasingly strange world and the wonderment of my role in it. These songs came together as an expression of my polarized view of the global scenario and what is coming for humanity.” He recorded it in merely 30 days at North Bluff Studios near Vancouver with producer Daniel Klenner (Shad, Hey Ocean) and mastered by Brock McFarlane.
The new album features standouts like the protest-anthem “Jetlag,” which questions the motivation of world leaders who choose to turn against the land for profits, as he sings out, “I love the land more than my country.” And adds his voice to the growing movement of our youth who are concerned about the world they will inherit. “Sons and Daughters,” is a nod to his past political-folk writing and seems to pack all of the hope and anger of his generation into irresistible songs worth putting on repeat.
What on Earth is also punctuated with the introspective song “Passing Through.” Wallace comments, “‘Passing Through” is a reminder that the only two constants in the universe are change and love. There is some truth to the idea that if we all accepted the notion that we’re just passing through, never solid or permanent, we’d be far less likely to stock up more than we could ever need; far less likely to sacrifice huge portions of our lives to live out the final 15 years in a false security. And so, in the spirit of this song and impermanence, I commit the remainder of my life to being a force of love in an impermanent world.”
“Biosphere,” is the lead single due out later this month, features unique instrumental sounds created by Luke’s 92.5 sterling silver ring, with a design from his celtic roots, that he tapped against the body of an open-tuned guitar, allowing the chords to ring out. It amplifies the song’s message about finding inner strength and peace within. Wallace reflects, “3 years ago, on an island near Vancouver, I started building a small cabin on a mountain side and was immediately drawn in a life of deep simplicity. I’m still learning about how truly little I need, and how much of a source of happiness my own inner fire can be. When one finds peace in the simple things, it’s very hard for others to bring you down.”
The single, “Pale Kids,” due out in February, ties both Luke’s activism and introspective sediments home, with this song he shines a light on indigenous rights and passionately asks listeners to pay attention and take action. He sings a painful truth, “It’s time for the Pale Kids to stand up and make some noise, cause’ they probably won’t shoot you like they do the darker boys. ” He clarifies, “It’s calling on those that are currently silent to the injustice upon which our white privilege sits. To use whatever privilege you have to fight for the liberation of those whom our systems of governance are too often death sentences.” He explains, “Indigenous activists are murdered every single day by government and private security forces for defending the land, without which their communities will perish. Many of the projects they protest, particularly in South America, are mines owned by Canadian firms, headquartered in my home city of Vancouver. In Canada, we continue to praise ourselves for values like inclusiveness, peace and tolerance, all while the RCMP raid, with snipers and assault weapons, peaceful Indigenous communities in Northern BC simply occupying their traditional territories.”
Luke Wallace will be touring in support of his new album. He will be performing at cities and towns all over the West coast of Canada and eventually hit the Pacific Northwest in the Fall. His goal is to share his songs and learn from the towns he visits to empower and support people and to help build a movement and change the way we interact with each other and the planet.
Reflecting back on the album Wallace comments, “This record is something that I’m incredibly excited to share with people as it offers an opportunity for connection and understanding that I haven’t had in the past. With the world shifting in such concerning and strange ways, I feel a greater call to look inside myself, tap into my vulnerability and write songs that people can connect with.” He continues “I’m hopeful that this album will nudge some people over the edge of complacency into a life of action.”