1. Felix & Adelita
2. Have Mercy
3. This Is Not A Pipe
4. My Criminal Uncle
5. Z For Zachariah
6. Job 35:10
7. James Ensor Redeemed
8. Anchorage (New Moon Baby)
9. The Last Words Of Gene Autry
10. Luck & Courage
11. Rock Rinse Repeat (Bonus Track)
"It's who you leave behind, it's not who you save/That you'll be judged by."
In Mother Night, Kurt Vonnegut coined the term "a nation of two" to describe that stage of love in which a couple seems to be creating their own self-contained world, with its own language and culture. In Franz Nicolay's haunted and redemptive album Luck & Courage, he expands the idea and writes the history of the rise and fall of one such country, one inhabited by the titular characters Felix & Adelita - luck & courage. "They're untethered," Nicolay says of the protagonists. "She's a sometime bartender, he's been in the service, he's a little violent and she's a little distant; they don't really live in any one place - and they've accustomed themselves, at some point, to the idea that ultimately their lives are going to be their own responsibility, so that when they find themselves together, almost against their will, their nation of two is doomed before it even begins. They're so used to leaving things behind, they don't remember how to stay - a battle between the pull of domesticity and the habit of packing up and moving on. And so their story, and the story of their nation of two, becomes the story of a plague-ridden, Cormac McCarthyian country as its society collapses."
5/5 Album of the Month: "'Luck and Courage' is a masterclass in instrumentation, arrangements and poetic musings...[It] is a work of grand proportions that deserves to be heard. This is Nicolay's Sgt. Pepper." themusiccritic.co.uk
"His songs are peculiar and unsettling, elegant and sparse. Think Mountain Goats' John Darnielle fronting a gypsy band." - Crawdaddy