Don’t let the band name fool you – Frances Luke Accord isn’t one guy. They’re a duo made up of Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers. Both were both raised in South Bend, Indiana, they met and started working together while they were students at the University of Notre Dame. After moving to Chicago in 2013, they started to release songs that they produced themselves. Their lyrics have been described as intellectually dense, with delicate melodies and vocals that compel the audience to lean in and listen. Their introspective, mellow indie-folk style has a timeless quality. It’s comparable to vintage-folk like Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens and Bon Iver. Not only do they create feel-good music, but they’re committed to making the world a better place. Their first release, Kandote, was a collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir in Uganda. The profits from the recording that continues to support the non-profit choir.
They released their debut full-length album, Fluke, in 2016. Now, they’re co-releasing their long-awaited Sophomore album Safe In Sound with Two-Dale Records and Tone Tree Music. Continuing their DIY spirit, all songs on the album were written and produced by Nick and Brian. Nick acted as the mixing engineer for all the songs except track 11, mixed by Don Mitchell (AKA Darlingside) who’s featured on the song. Frances Luke Accord is still self-managing as well. They’ve built their fanbase all on their own, I love to see indie artists doing well.
Safe and Sound is about pressing forward in the midst of uncertainty. Even though they’re a soft and delicate band this record is richly layered. Frances Luke Accord, is known for their quietness, but it is a pulsing record that puts the band’s distinctive tenor dual harmonies front and center. You might listen to them and think that it’s one singer with his vocals doubled, but Nick and Brian’s combined vocals create the persona that is Frances Luke Accord. There are a few guests on the record that step in and juxtapose the duo’s tenor vocals. The lyrics on the album were mostly written while the artists were stuck in quarantine, just like most of the albums released in 2022. It’s interesting to hear how a folk duo expresses their frustration. The upside is that they’re finding a way to survive the storm.
Follow the band on Instagram.