Session BBS 6: Frances Cone // Marielle Allschwang & The Visitations

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BBS006.18 FrancesCone web Poster Design: Tracy Harris

July 28, 2018

FRANCES CONE is Christina Cone, Andrew Doherty and Aaron Hamel. The Nashville based soulful indie-pop band, fronted by Christina Cone, is named after Christina's father and great-grandfather, both musicians themselves in South Carolina and both born on September 11th. The band has been praised for their compelling, emotional live show and captivating recordings. In 2016, Frances Cone released, "Arizona," the first single from their forthcoming full-length album which is set to release in early 2019. Stereogum praised Arizona for Cones melodic vocals, rich harmonies, and an electrifying guitar sound." Written about her brother, filmmaker Stephen Cone, "Arizona's" reach has extended far and wide at 10 million streams on Spotify.

Most recently, NPR's All Songs Considered premiered "Unraveling" a timely and cathartic song about the "ways life conspires to overwhelm". It solidifies the band's commitment to a sound creating a "sweet slow burn in which songs build gradually and carefully into something truly grand. "The gorgeous "Unraveling" 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."

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Marielle Allschwangvocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and member of some of Milwaukee’s finest ensembles (Collections of Colonies of BeesHello Death)—sits at the center of the band she has named The Visitations, where she "[commands] the stage with hushed intensity" (Evan Rytlewski, Shepherd Express). At times gentle and beautiful, at others brutal and terrifying, “Allschwang’s voice seems familiar: it’s a timeless instrument, full of sadness, beauty, and independence, rooted in the fertile ground of Americana but twisted into the wilding sky of the avant-garde” (Matt Wild, Milwaukee Record).  

Allschwang’s debut album, Dead Not Done, was released on cassette on Gloss Records in 2015; it was featured on year-end “Best Albums of Milwaukee” lists by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Shepherd Express, and Milwaukee Record, who lauded its “Lynchian beauty and grace." Allschwang's video for "Aquarium," which she produced alongside its director, Heather Hass, received RadioMilwaukee's 2017 Music Video of the Year Award. Allschwang's self-released vinyl edition of Dead Not Done is now available, and two forthcoming releases (an EP and a full-length) are slated for 2018-2019.

Previous to contributing vocals to Collections of Colonies of Bees and violin, guitar, and vocals to Hello Death, Allschwang performed violin and vocals in Group of the Altos, having recorded on both of their full lengths "Altos" and "R U Person or Not." She also was with Altos for their milestone performances of ALTOS: EARTH—a live original score to Aleksandr Dovzhenko's masterpiece "Earth (Zemlya)" (co-commissioned by Alverno Presents and Milwaukee Film)—and Joe Westerlund's "Grandma Sparrow and the Piddletractor Orchestra" (Alverno Presents). Allschwang performed in Jon Mueller's Death Blues "No Time Like the Present," "Here," and "Ensemble" iterations. 

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