Frances Luke Accord – “Fluke”
Frances Luke Accord released their album “Fluke” this past May and you should really know about it. While the album title might suggest otherwise, “Fluke” is a collection of careful, hauntingly thoughtful songs that are sure to pierce little holes of light into a world that has grown heavy with fear, information overload and tronald dumps. The album begins with “Who Do You Run From”, a soft entry of tightly woven harmony and shimmering atmospheric guitars. Brian Powers and Nicholas Gunty’s natural vocal quality immediately comes across as honest – conveying heart-felt revelations and observations. Syncopation of the vocals picks up and before you know it, you’ll be nodding your head to an a capella arrangement (not something that happens everyday), which makes the instrumental entrance all the more satisfying about a minute and a half in. Unexpected chord changes and playful reversals in melody are reminiscent (at moments) of Chris Thile, the Bowerbirds, or Animal Collective.
The foot tapping doesn’t stop with the second track “Something Moving” but instead, intensifies. The pacing is that of a man on a mission and the rich tapestry of violin plucks and guitar plops weave together and color whatever scene at which you’re looking into an expansive panorama. I’m talking cinematic, people. Stories unfold to songs like this.
It doesn’t stop there. This album is able to snowball momentum throughout all 10 tracks in a way that feels effortless. The sixth track of the album “The Nightline” features an environmental backdrop to an exotic string melody, evoking a sort of haunted mysticism in the midst of a train platform. The standout track of the album, “On the Road” is a pitch-perfect, spot-on, mirror reflection of the magic that is to be found on a midnight drive to the edge of the world. Cosmically explorative in one moment, home-grown pickin’ parlour in the next, this is the sort of song Aurora Borealis might sing back to earth – dancing greens and blues, echoing the caverns of our human experience.
As I listen through the album, I’m struck by how different each song feels, though the tracks have been masterfully arranged into a cohesive perspective that becomes a sort of musical mosaic by the end. Lyrics like “I love to wonder why/ I feel l’m left with only my disguise” capture the existential search inherent to millennial awareness.
“Fluke” is peppered with tasty a capella arrangements, incorporates jazz moments, field recordings and what feels like east African inspired rhythm and guitar statements – all of this is impressively fluid and you know what, friends? That is no fluke. To wrap up: this is refreshingly smart folk music that feels like a sunrise, or the cold shower you didn’t know you needed. It smells like lilac bushes and leather, tastes like a crisp amber ale. I’m not going to apologize for gushing. Instead, I’ll just implore you to listen for yourself.