Chicago-based indie folk duo Frances Luke Accord may very well be the modern day indie folk version of Simon & Garfunkel. Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers are the forces behind the musical collaboration. Their vocals magically and effortlessly blend to tell the stories of their acoustic-based, spacious and contemplative brand of indie folk.
The duo recently dropped their stunning sophomore album, Safe In Sound, the long-awaited follow-up to their groundbreaking debut album, Fluke (2016). Filled with all the textured harmonies, spacious arrangements and first-rate songwriting that Frances Luke Accord brings to the table, Safe In Sound also features a number of guest appearances from Darlingside, Liz Chidester, Yeshua, Chris Dupont, and Katie Van Dusen.
Frances Luke Accord was formed when Nicholas and Brian, both raised in South Bend, Indiana, met and began performing together while they attended University of Notre Dame. Their first release, Kandote, was a collaborative music project between Frances Luke Accord and the Barefoot Truth Children's Choir in Uganda, a not-for-profit effort which continues to support the choir to this day. Relocating to Chicago in 2013, the duo honed their songwriting craft while releasing two more self-produced EPs, laying the groundwork for their breakthrough debut full-length, Fluke.
Safe In Sound flows smoothly and cohesively from start to finish, collecting several of the band's singles that led up to the album release, including "Maria," "Thank You, Derrick Watson," "Dust to Dust" and "Sunnyside." Among the remaining album tracks, my favorites include the gentle and moving, a cappella "This Morning," "Friend You've Been," and touching closing track "In My Life."
If you've already listened to any of the duo's recordings and think they sound incredible, you should treat yourself to a live Frances Luke Accord performance if you can (I have) to witness and hear their vocals blend in person. It's mesmerizing and magical.