When I listened blindly to nearly a thousand songs while attempting to make my schedule of bands to see at this year's SXSW music festival, one of the few tracks that leapt to the top was "Arizona" by Frances Cone. I wasn't alone. NPR Music's Stephen Thompson also singled out this now Brooklyn-based band for the way it wraps its storytelling in a catchy, pop parcel.
Led by singer and songwriter Christina Cone, the band is set to release Late Riser, its second full-length album, later this year. The first track the group performed for this Tiny Desk concert is its just-released single, "Unraveling," a tale of falling apart, of life becoming so overwhelming that the song's character simply stops and lets go.
With each verse of "Unraveling" the saga builds to a climax and then a calm. It's this sort of craft that makes Frances Cone stand out. Think Lucius, another band that captured my attention years ago for similar reasons. In fact, Dan Molad, the drummer and producer for Lucius, mixed that first Frances Cone song that grabbed my attention, "Arizona." This is wonderfully literate pop that won't hit you over the head, but might gently find a home in your heart.
- "Leave Without You"
Christina Cone (keys, vocals); Andrew Doherty (electric bass, electric guitar, vocals); Adam Melchor (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals); Alex Baron (drums)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Niki Walker, Morgan Noelle Smith; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Tsering Bista; PA: Jenna Li; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.
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