Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

If You Feel Like Everything's 'Unraveling,' Frances Cone Has A Song For You

Frances Cone's new song is titled "Unraveling."
Geoff Leung
Courtesy of the artist
Frances Cone's new song is titled "Unraveling."

It's only rolled out a few songs so far, but the Brooklyn band Frances Cone has already carved out a distinct sound — a sweet slow burn in which songs build gradually and carefully into something truly grand. The gorgeous "Unraveling," from a forthcoming album called Late Riser, really gets at what works about Frances Cone's music: Each cooed "ooooh" is in the exact right place, weaving together to form a warm and hypnotic tapestry.

"Unraveling" comes along at the right time, too, as singer Christina Cone tackles a few of the ways life conspires to overwhelm: "Lately she stopped traveling / Her heartbeat moved too fast to know / Choked up with miles to go / Over a million signs to blink and let it go." That letting go is crucial to "Unraveling," which winds down with a kind of mantra: "Oh, but it calms me / Oh, but it calms me / Oh, but it calms me / To let it go."

"This song means a lot to me every time," Cone writes via email. "Every verse is another story — different people breaking down at different times for different reasons to various degrees. The second verse always hits me hard, maybe because we've been traveling so much. That can feel pretty unsettling, so I'm in love with the character who chooses to stop altogether. I simultaneously encourage that decision and also want her to get back on the plane. And then the last verse, where I'm myself for the first time and get to feel everything and relish in the breakdown, it becomes so calming to let it go. It's cathartic every time; I sort of tear up thinking about it."

"Unraveling" is out now.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)