Based out of Chicago, musicians Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers enjoy the process of picking apart their influences and reconstructing something distinct from the resulting melodic debris. After hearing the music they create under the moniker of Frances Luke Accord, it's hard not to notice how fluid they are in dispatching their inspirations and blurring the lines between various genres. They rummage through the vaults of pop, jazz, Americana and folk music to select the best parts, connecting them in unexpected ways and loosing the subsequent musical composite into a marketplace starved for creative interaction.
The roots of the band go all the way back to when they both were attending the University of Notre Dame and were looking for a way to explore the sounds bouncing around in their heads in a space free of restrictions and constraints. And in their eventual releases, you can hear this evolution of aesthetic and approach. Filled with gorgeous harmonies, adaptable melodies that slip like mercury through your fingers and a variety of acoustic creations, their work is home to a brilliant mix of sounds and their accompanying emotions.
On their new single, "Maria," Gunty and Powers revel in a minimal folk atmosphere filled with echoing voices, ethereal rhythms that hang in the background and persuasive acoustic guitar. There's a simplicity to the track, but it's completely deceptive -- there are acres to explore here even if the song just barely reaches the 2-minute mark. Some of the greatest folks songs hide a spacious interior, and that's exactly what "Maria" aspires to, and it quickly develops an enormity that belies its musical brevity. Recalling the breezy acousticism of artists like Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens, the song swallows you whole, leaving you adrift but comfortable on an endless ocean of folk histories.