In Conversation: Luke Gard

Fresh off the release of his new album, Somewhere Not Far From Here, I exchanged a series of emails with the Nashville based musician Luke Gard. SNFFH is a worthwhile listen grounded in folk sensibilities and fleshed out to a full sound by Nashville contemporaries. It’s a nuanced album but one that’s equally dynamic in its emotional range; an intriguing piece of Americana. We discuss the album, his creative process and what’s next for Luke Gard. 

So this is your first album with vocals and a full band, what made you decide to go for that now?

I’ve always wanted to branch into the indie folk / singer-songwriter genre, but why now? Maybe a few reasons – finally had the time, connections, and cash flow to do it; finally had a batch of songs that I was confident in, and maybe the more practical reason of – life is short, I’m turning 30 soon, let’s make the best of our time and take a risk at making something I’m proud of and fully invested into. 

And for clarity, we’re not calling this a band

Yes, not calling it a band, since any gigging or touring would likely need to be just me solo. 

Did you write the additional parts too?

I helped arrange and guide the instrumentation and parts, but not all of it was directly written by me. I was lucky to have some really talented and creative musicians (helps to live in Nashville!) Session musicians were myself, Evan Galante, Gabe Scott, Dylan Jones, and John McNally.

What would you say is the most personally meaningful track on the album?

The most meaningful track is the title track, Somewhere Not Far From Here. It encompasses a lot of the ups and downs that my wife and I have felt while in Nashville – working dull jobs to support and care for each other, while being bold enough to love, forgive, and move forward. The song is a very poetic way of expressing my own desire to look towards greener grass and trust in what’s ahead, which can be a hope-filled dream or a disillusioned frustration. 

I noticed the album features some recurring themes like dualities and forgiveness, can you talk about those and your lyrical writing process?

You’re correct about those themes. Forgiveness allows us to unburden ourselves and begin to look ahead with a smidge more optimism than before. The theme of duality is probably steeped in each song due to the way that life feels sometimes. I’m a full-time employee, yet also a musician. I used to be focused on solo guitar, now I’m trying to branch into songwriting. Life can be beautiful, life can be bittersweet. That in-between is something that I think everyone wrestles with and to which can relate.

Most of the time, the chords and melody will come first, and then I find the words that ebb and flow properly with the melody. I prefer to get the bulk of the song written in one setting, then walk away for a day or two and edit (or throw that song in the archives!). 

I find it’s best to stay in the beauty of that moment when it all combines – the practicality of rhymes and cohesive chords, corresponding to an open heart that is processing and expressing emotions.

Any plans for a tour? Do you see the full-band becoming your main musical focus?

I would love to piece together a small tour or “weekend warrior” line-up here and there. It would also be a joy to connect with a more established artist and open for them. I’m in the starting phases of working on that. 

Songwriting is now the main musical focus and I’m really hopeful for more songs ahead.

Somewhere Not Far From Here is streaming everywhere now and available for purchase at

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