For years, Lukas Frank, the artist at the center of Storefront Church, has been quietly honing his craft. As a musician, he’s played with artists across genres, spending time as the drummer in a multitude of projects, most notably in Phoebe Bridgers’ band. But slowly, Frank began wanting to build something of his own making. “I started Storefront Church as an exercise. But I eventually fell further and further down the rabbit hole and became obsessed with the project.” The result was taking on the moniker Storefront Church, and making the band’s debut album, As We Pass, as lush and evocative as possible. On first blush, As We Pass scans as a sweeping artistic statement, one that paints dark, weathered landscapes and pairs them with Frank’s mournful croon.
Comparisons can be made to the likes of such classic artists as Roy Orbison and Scott Walker, but there’s also an undercurrent of Nick Cave’s free-form experimentation, and even the desolation of OK Computer, that makes As We Pass never fall into one singular mode. While Frank is the figurehead of Storefront Church, As We Pass was built in collaboration with some of his closest friends. Guitarist Waylon Rector worked tirelessly alongside Frank, helping co-write songs on the album, helping crystalize the album’s vision. Similarly, DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith worked along with Frank on the material, co-writing songs and ensuring the album’s sound fully took root. And of course, there’s engineer Cassidy Turbin, who has been one of Beck’s closest confidants, gave As We Pass the same care. Looking at Storefront Church, it’s clear that there’s no goal in terms of genres or sonic templates, but instead an unending commitment to exploring the deepest fears and most buried truths of human existence. “It’s about getting closer to the center of this project,” says Frank, acknowledging that there is no single way forward, other than a constant desire to grow, evolve, and create on his own terms.