Frances Luke Accord + Western Den
1100 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Frances Luke Accord
Frances Luke Accord are an independent Chicago-based duo hailing originally from South Bend, Indiana. Both dedicated multi-instrumentalists and meticulous songwriters, Nicholas Gunty and Brian Powers distinguish their music with genre fluidity, buttery harmonies and acoustic ensembles. Although prevailingly a modern folk band, FLA sip copious inspiration from Americana, jazz, soul, and rock.
Since forming during their senior year at the University of Notre Dame, Frances Luke Accord's approach to music has marked a boundless evolution. In December of 2012 the duo released their first record, Kandote, a not-for-profit, intercultural collaboration with the Barefoot Truth Children’s Choir of Kkindu, Uganda — an endeavor that continues to support the primary education and musical aspirations of the choir. Bringing their world/folk sound to Chicago in the summer of 2013, the duo quickly garnered local and regional attention for their captivating live performances and stunning self-produced releases, including the Queen for Me EP (April 2014), Live @ Strobe (April 2015), and, most notably, their debut full-length album, Fluke (May 2016).
Fluke, FLA's pseudo-self-titled introduction to a national audience, is a self-produced vocal tour-de-force that leaps quickly and definitively into the canopy of contemporary art. It is dreamlike and philosophical, haunting and whimsical. Its melodies evoke a noir film, a Spanish folktale, an enigmatic egoeye. However you pin it, something in the music is turning heads. Whether evidenced by their invitation to perform on NPR's Mountain Stage Radio Show with Larry Groce, tours with Darlingside and Anaïs Mitchell, official showcase at Folk Alliance International's 2017 Conference, or the $16K Kickstarter that funded Fluke, Frances Luke Accord's compositions take the listener by the ear, pull the rug from beneath her feet, and leave her deliciously airborne. Listen.
The Western Den
To find a musical soulmate, someone with whom to explore your innermost feelings, unite artistic languages, and craft a shared voice is a daunting, even mysterious, undertaking. Some writers spend years searching and never uncover the other half they seek; for others, a partnership just flicks on like a light. The origin story of the hauntingly beautiful duo The Western Den is wonderfully curious in just this way: Deni Hlavinka, an introspective pianist from small town Virginia, posted a song idea on a college forum for accepted students. Chris West, a bright-eyed guitarist from Bermuda, sent back the song the following day in finished form. Upon meeting in person, they discovered their musical—and personal—bond was eerily close; there was never a discussion of forming a band, never a conscious choice, it just happened, fueled by a sheer desire, a necessity to pursue what felt right.
The act of reaching out in search of a common creative haven—that same force which brought Hlavinka and West together seven years ago—is a theme of ‘A Light Left On’, their forthcoming debut record. A careful labor of love, it emerged over the course of two years as a set of demos, which the pair then tracked meticulously over a six-month span. This restraint stands in stark contrast to their previous releases, two EPs which they hurried to release with the same speed and enthusiasm of Hlavinka and West’s initial long-distance collaboration. The result of their patience this time around is an ornate emotional garden, lovingly cultivated and ready for company. In their songwriting, arrangements, and production choices, the band leaves behind the folk label, which always felt like a safe descriptor yet never quite like home, pushing out into orchestral, ethereal, and chordally complex territory, while preserving their sweeping vocal harmonies, at once lush and modest, unmistakably the foundation of their partnership.
‘A Light Left On’ details a coming-of-age search—for purpose, for an environment that feels authentic. From its inceptive command to “raise it up, give a name / call it close, temporary though all the same”, the album announces its creators’ desire to define themselves within a turbulent landscape of thoughts, to have a light left on somewhere that feels permanent. Absent of that flag-planting resolution, the record offers up the belief that a light is still out there—‘I’m still holding on, still, still I’m holding on’—as if spoken to themselves as a mantra, on repeat, to reassure and encourage.
The Western Den showcases a mature pursuit of beauty that is all their own, and yet they capture the emotional soul-searching that exists in all of us, whether we hide it from the world or share it. In Hlavinka and West’s case, they have chosen to share it, extending their trust in each other to their audience.
$10 Advance / $12 Day of Show
Thu, January 24
Fri, January 25
Sat, January 26
Thu, January 31
Fri, February 1