2023 has been a spectacular year so far for The Lottery Winners. The last few months has seen them support Frank Turner, embark on a headline tour and release Anxiety Replacement Therapy – the follow-up album to 2021’s Something To Leave The House For, which placed at #11 in the album charts and saw the band garner support across the board at Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, Radio X, Virgin, XS and Amazing Radio. The support for the Leigh four piece has only widened since and the album’s been topping the charts all week long.
Described by frontman Thom Rylance as a “self-help tape” for those struggling in life, the album tackles a multitude of issues – including austerity, mental health, personal development and anxiety. The band dive straight into these issues with the infectiously catchy – and appropriately titled – ‘Worry’. Driven by drummer Joe Singleton, the furiously energetic track offers an accurate description of what it’s like suffer from anxiety. Next up is the raucous ‘Burning House’, which sees bassist Katie Lloyd takes the reins as lead vocalist. A live favourite, the animated track showcases the band’s talent of burying honest and often dark messages beneath the noise.
The album hosts collaborations galore, with a wealth of strong celebrity names lending their vocals. While Boy George adds his smooth vocals to the shimmering ‘Let Me Down’, which recalls the emotional intensity of his work with Culture Club, Shaun Ryder takes a raw approach on ‘Money’ – a funky pop banger that sees him reprise his iconic “Call the cops!” refrain from Happy Mondays’ 1990 classic ‘Step On’. Though the collaboration that has everybody talking is the brutally honest ‘Letter to Myself’, which features Frank Turner. A reassuring note to Thom’s twelve year old self, the track boasts a rousing, anthemic chorus that defies you not to sing along.
It’s not just the singles that shine and the rest of the tracks are more than worthy of a place in the spotlight. The despondent ‘Long Way Down’ brings the tempo down with serene like guitar work from Thom and lead guitarist Robert Lally, before the pummelling beats of ‘Sertraline’ kick in – named after the antidepressant, the fast paced track is a perfect slice of indie rock that sees Thom reflect on being placed on medication for his mental health. Exuding summer vibes from its intro, ‘Jennie’ is a single in the making. Exploring the notion that there’s a lot more to life than work, the melodic track sends a positive and powerful message: “let’s live and not just exist”.
Though just as captivating as their predecessors, the last two tracks of the album are of a more mellow nature. The emotive ‘You’re Not Alone’ addresses the feelings of disconnection that go hand in hand with people’s struggles, particularly when they can’t see a way out – having repeated the line “you’re not alone” throughout, Thom brings the track to a close with the poignant line “there’s no such thing as normal”. Forever wearing his heart on his sleeve, Thom hammers home the important reminder that there are always other people out there who understand how you feel and that you’re never alone. Last up is the album’s title track – featuring stunning backing vocals and spoken word from Thom, the hypnotic track ties together the songs and themes across the album, bringing it to a perfect end.
With an album dominating the charts and a wealth of festival dates ahead of them, we can’t even begin to imagine what’s in-store for these four friends from Leigh. Though what we can be sure of, is that they deserve every ounce of success that’s coming their way.