Storefront Church’s “Ink & Oil” Influences Playlist

Lukas Frank’s new album, which features orchestral arrangements from Travis Warner, is out now.

Storefront Church’s Ink & Oil Influences Playlist

Lukas Frank’s new album, which features orchestral arrangements from Travis Warner, is out now.

Words: Will Schube

Photo: Silken Weinberg

July 01, 2024

For Lukas Frank and his new album under the Storefront Church moniker, no idea is off-limits. The LA-based songwriter shoots for the moon and again and again lands a direct bullseye. Lush orchestrations are punctuated by swooning lyrical flourishes and percussive accents. Epic moments dissipate at the snap of a finger, while low-key interludes quickly turn into grandiose statements as indebted to cinema’s grand scope as the musical icons that make their way into this work: Van Dyke Parks, Rufus Wainwright, and Brian Wilson — to name a few.

Frank’s new album plays into a distinctly American style of storytelling pioneered by some of the above artists, and others featured on his playlist for FLOOD. Ink & Oil was inspired by family lore regarding his great uncle Roger. An Army desertion charge was followed by a prison sentence before an eventual escape; Roger left nothing but an orange behind. This story haunted Lukas, who explored its history —and the visions he felt of his uncle’s presence — throughout the album. To help further contextualize Ink & Oil, we had Lukas Frank share some songs that helped inspire the sound of his LP.

1. The Beach Boys, “Surf’s Up”
Greatest song of all time? Every time he says, “I heard the word, wonderful thing, a children’s song,” I cry. Every time. There’s a mysterious alchemy going on here and I’ve literally emailed Van Dyke Parks to try and get to the bottom of it. Will report back.

2. The Damned, “The Dog”
Fun vampire song from The Damned, a band with an incredibly cool aesthetic. This one was in heavy rotation during the making of the album.

3. Miles Davis, “Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)”
Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ take on this Gershwin song, where a woman asks Jesus why he won’t help her overcome her illness. Miles says all that and more without any lyrics. If you’re not moved by this piece of music, then you are so fucking dead inside that Dr. Jesus himself couldn’t put the sparkle back in your eyes.

4. The Walker Brothers, “The Electrician”
Do you like feeling spooky and smart at the same time? Then this is the song for you, my friend. Scott Walker and his former boy band the Walker Brothers deliver one of the weirdest choruses (about torturing people?) followed by one of the most gorgeous string arrangements of all time. The real heads already know this one and are folding their arms at me.

5. PJ Harvey and John Parish, “Black Hearted Love”
Webster’s dictionary defines “Black Hearted Love” as a perfect rock song.

6. Beck, “Paper Tiger”
Man, I ripped these strings off so hard. Did you know Beck’s father is an extremely successful composer/arranger? And that he did all the strings on this record? And most recently for a little artist by the name of Billie Eillish? I stole David’s orchestrator Travis Warner to help me with my record and he crushed. Thanks David Campbell. Thanks Trav.

7. Richard Hawley, “The Ocean”
More crooner vibes. We all know this sultry man, right? When I was trying to get my Burt Bacharach on for this album, Richard was a good, slightly more modern reference.

8. Spiritualized, “I Think I’m in Love”
If Brian Wilson was the ambitious heady weirdo of his time, then is J Spaceman the Brian Wilson of the 90s? Can I be the J Spaceman of the 2020s? Please?

9. Rufus Wainwright, “Agnus Dei”
I don’t know why we get punished with the opening sound on this one, but respect to Mr. Wainwright for it. If you make it past the bleating lamb violin sounds in the beginning, you will be rewarded with a gorgeous arrangement of this hymn. I love when the vocals clip in that one spot.

10. Ennio Morricone, “Final Duel (From Once Upon a Time in the West)”
I wrote a song called ‘The Manhattan Project’ on my record. It’s maybe my version of this? I’m not sure, but man…this piece of music still hits so damn hard. Am I an old man for that? Perhaps.

Buy or stream Ink & Oil here.