Through the ages, folk music has been a way to share cultural traditions, convey parables, and share stories. From telling tales of chivalry and love to combating fascism and championing civil rights, folk artists have played an integral role in history. With their recent album, Safe In Sound, out now via Two-Dale Records/Tone Tree Music, indie-folk duo Frances Luke Accord weaves the threads of folk past and present into a dreamy tapestry of harmony and poetry.
The journey begins with soft, yet urgent finger-picking and ethereal vocals in “Window.” “Nowhere to run / No time to hide / Open up your eyes / We will not lie / We do or die / While the world goes by,” they sing in goosebump-inducing harmony, imploring us to be active participants in the world. Inspired by the poetry of an Algerian Sufi Sheikh, “Dust To Dust” explores what it is to “be,” while “Sunnyside,” brimming with steady acoustic strums and yearning violin, encourages us to look towards hope, that someday the light will be brighter. “Maria” features delicate banjo rolls under its message about climate change and the fragility of our world.
Later, the band delivers “St. Mary,” an autobiographical story of band member Nicholas Gunty’s near-fatal cycling accident, heavy subject matter delivered in celestial metaphors. “All The Things,” a standout on an album of standouts, earns the band their frequent comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel. Featuring Darlingside’s Don Mitchell on banjo, harmonium, and percussion, “All The Things” is a playful tribute to boundless love.
Gunty and bandmate Brian Powers have created one of the most beautiful albums this writer has had the pleasure of experiencing. Each of the 11 tracks housed within the grooves of Safe In Sound is a multi-faceted, sparkling gem. Whether they’re calling us to action, encouraging us to take care of our world and each other, or contemplating the very fabric of existence, Frances Luke Accord delivers deep and timely messages wrapped in unparalleled acoustic goodness.
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