Artist: Frances Luke Accord
Frances Luke Accord is not just a musician. It's actually two. And they share obvious similarities with Paul Simon. Like their father in folk, the Chicago duo spent time in Africa, recording with a Ugandan children's choir. And like that other duo, Frances Luke Accord's are quiet landscapes painted with gorgeous string tones and gentle harmonies. [FLA also does a mean “Boxer” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2xZ2FW3e8k); and provided you've grown accustomed to CTA acoustics, their “Sounds of Silence” is worth checking out (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkSCjlQnuHQ).] But Frances Luke Accord aren't constrained by the Simon & Garfunkel mold – their debut LP, Kandote, is living proof of that – anyway, Simon broke that one long ago.
But if their newest single is any indication, their next EP, Queen for Me, will impress even beyond their promising debut. To the extent there was any room for improvement on Kandote, it was that Frances Luke Accord were selfless to a fault, in that they shared the spotlight with others. Kandote's “Amaholo” is a good example. Though it was truly fascinating, combining world music chants with choir backing, there was none of the characteristic vocal/guitar interplay that distinguishes Frances Luke Accord.
“Over Your Roof” on the other hand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV4wRoTPRkE) hints at an EP that fans of the duo's live show likely hoped for. The lead single is two-and-a-half minutes of melodically memorable harmonies, intricate interactions of lovely string instruments, and yes, humming and whistling. An EP full of FLA soundscapes would mean not only rewarding headphone listens, but also spot-on live renderings. And that is the Frances Luke Accord we know and love. Live. (No choir required.)
*** The author of this review, Jason Walker, plays the buleador for the following band: http://youtu.be/tMS73-1kCr8