“Thank You, Derrick Watson,” the new single from indie/folk duo Frances Luke Accord, drenches harmony-filled folk in the baking rays of a shimmering, Hawaiian glow. The single is inspired by Hawaii judge, Derrick Kahala Watson, who froze President Trump’s travel ban in 2017. Although rooted in this political current, “Thank You, Derrick Watson” ripples beyond politics, exploring ideas of empathy and innocence from the sonic vantage of Watson’s own childhood home. The single will be released October 11.
Watson made national headlines after temporarily freezing President Trump’s revised ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, giving an institutional voice to a tide of Americans outraged at what they perceived as thinly veiled racism motivating the American executive office. Frances Luke Accord celebrate Judge Watson’s courageous rebuke by singing: “although it may be little praise, my friends and I think you’re great for what you’ve done today.” Yet just as they praise the courage of their hero, the famously introspective duo turn quickly inward, questioning the roots of their own prejudices and personal shortcomings to craft an evocative meditation on life, suffering, and the role of compassion in global culture.
Frances Luke Accord’s plucky approach and sunny optimism arrive embodied by a thick layering of acoustic instrumentation, including notably Hawaii’s most popular musical export, the ukulele. Swinging acoustic guitar and upright bass bathe the tune with a flush of oceanside warmth and lift the duo’s signature vocal harmonies into a richly nuanced articulation of hope and sincerity. “Thank You, Derrick Watson” is earnestly philosophical, relishing in the seaside corridor where folk and island sounds transfuse.
About Frances Luke Accord:
Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers, the duo making up Frances Luke Accord, met and began performing together during their time at the University of Notre Dame. Their soulful, effortless branch of indie-folk is orchestrated with spare and sophisticated acoustic threads woven into a lush backdrop for their intimate melodies. Rich, up-close tenor harmonies lend their timeless songwriting to be called, “the definition of lean-in music” by NPR’s Mountain Stage. Their first release, Kandote, was a bold intercultural collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir in Uganda. The duo honed their songwriting craft while releasing two more self-produced EPs, laying the groundwork for their breakthrough debut full-length, Fluke, in 2016. This immersive, philosophically rich album set them off on their first national tour, which included support dates with Darlingside, Anaïs Mitchell, and The Ballroom Thieves. Gunty and Powers continue to explore their combined voice with a renewed sense of growth and brotherhood from their respective homes in Philadelphia and Chicago. “Maria” (2018) and Silver & Gold (2019) reflect this evolution with a fresh vitality and set the bar high for their upcoming sophomore LP, coming in early 2020.
11.13 CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids, IA
11.14 The Warming House, Minneapolis, MN
11.15 Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe, Madison, WI
11.16 Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
11.21 The Listening Room, Grand Rapids, MI
11.22 Riverdog, Wakeman, OH
11.23 South Bend Civic Theatre, South Bend, IN
01.22 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA
01.23 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA
01.24 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA
01.25 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA
01.28 Lee University, Cleveland, TN
01.31 Pure Life Studios, La Grange, GA
02.01 Isis Music Hall, Asheville, NC
Praise for Frances Luke Accord
“…Are some of our very favorite musicians, songwriters, and people” – Darlingside (band)
“An echo of Simon & Garfunkle, the quirky weirdness of Sufjan Stevens, and the melodic progression of Josh Ritter… Frances Luke Accord have taken all of this and turned it into something entirely unique.”
– Pure M Magazine
“Indie folk at its finest” – Milk Crater
‘If you like killer harmonies, you will LOVE Frances Luke Accord’ – Jeanette Sangston, The Revue
[Frances Luke Accord] have their fingers in a sound that’s timeless yet absolutely necessary in an increasingly static musical landscape. – Joshua Pickard, Nooga