So if I start out talking about layered minimalism, I’ll probably sound obtuse. But I’m trying to demonstrate how Frances Luke Accord can create a sonic palette so dazzling with such a slight amount of instrumental elements: two guitars, two human voices… a brushed bit of percussion. From there, it’s all about just melody, intonation, lyrical essence, and the supernatural way two vocal performances can fuse into, and complement, one another.
Frances Luke Accord is Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers; an indie folk duo based in Chicago who have made consistent appearances across the mitten state, and allied notably with Ann Arbor’s own Chris Dupont for some local shows as well as a tour. Frances Luke Accord, now three quarters of the way through the Spring 2017 tour, will perform next Wednesday at The Ark with singer/songwriter Mike Vial.
Below—Watch a video from their recent Audiotree performance.
There have already been plenty of inevitable Simon & Garfunkel comparisons made, and we just went ahead and made yet another, albeit indirectly. But maybe that’s exactly your cup of tea? These two, backed by an ensemble that features drums, banjo and more, demonstrate a keen sensibility for the quiet build, the elemental poignancy, the slow rush and delicate dance of what feels like very natural, earthy, breezy melodies. It’s delicate and visceral, a swell of serotonin one only cerebrally splashes into after certain sets of meditative exercises – likely outdoors, likely in steadily propulsive traversings.
Speaking of propulsion, here’s another of their songs, called “Something Moving.”
Frances Luke Accord. 8 pm. Wednesday,May 10. The Ark. 316 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, 48104
More shows to catch this weekend…
Read Russ Brakefield’s feature article on Vulfpeck, from this month’s issue. The quirky, charming, effervescent ensemble of funk/soul and minimalist jazz specialists are playing three times this coming weekend. The first show at the Michigan Theatre is sold out, but there is a second performance on Saturday, May 13. They’re also performing a daytime kids show Sunday, 4:30pm.
Here’s their latest
There’s a sweet selection of jazz, prog, soul and adventurous post-rock stylings at Club Above on Saturday, May 13. The Jared Presley Experience is touring in from Cincinnati to join local groups like Act Casual and Honey Monsoon. Act Casual has a bit of a woozy blues and tightly snapped funk, while Honey Monsoon features honeyed Ella-recalling vocals fluttering over a shimmer of jazz chords and shuffling rhythms. Find more info on their show at Club Above, here.