Interview: Bedroom Pop Songwriter Ciarra Fragale Talks New Single ‘Lose My Cool’, Composing Film Scores, & More

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Indie singer-songwriter Ciarra Fragale is a great example of an artist with a wide range of experiences, talents and influences. Making indie pop music in her home studio, Fragale harnesses inspiration from forms of music that have paved the way like Motown, and mixes it with more modern sounds, indie themes, and instrumentals.

Based out of Western Massachusetts, Fragale has musical backgrounds in composition for film and theater that help bolster her songwriting. She has released multiple full-length albums and singles, and has toured both solo and with a full band. The albums released by Fragale are Seasons (2017), Call It What You Will (2019), and her self-titled album, which was released last year.

Lose My Cool” is Fragale’s latest single, and was released in early February. Along with the song release, a music video to go with “Lose My Cool” also dropped on YouTube. She says of the song that it is “one that has provided comfort and a good reminder to feel one’s feelings.”

Fragale will be playing at The Cobra in Nashville tomorrow night March 12th, and you can find her other tour dates here.

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We got to ask Fragale a little more about the song and her music journey in our latest interview.

How long have you been making music, and who or what most influenced you to pursue a life in it?

I started playing guitar when I was around 7 years old. I remember always wanting to make some sort of noise (I’m not sure you could’ve called it “music” when I was that age, haha). I was a super curious kid, and thankfully, that carried over into my adult life. My grandfather played guitar with me on his lap and that’s really what started it all. Then I got into Green Day and Paramore and it was all over.

If you could only use three words to describe yourself as an artist, what would they be?

Your Best Pal.

I see you just released your new single, “Lose My Cool.” Can you talk about the backstory and inspiration behind it?

Yes! “Lose My Cool” came out of a single night’s experience. In general, I am not a very reactive person– my first emotion is never anger. While in many aspects of my life this has proven to be a good thing, there are a few times where I wish I had gotten angry. This all culminated into one night a few months ago where I finally let myself get mad about stuff, and had this incredibly cathartic experience alone, completely for myself. I wrote and recorded the song that same night. It was kind of whirlwind, and a marathon of an experience. It was a good lesson in feeling the full extent of your feelings, and that it’s okay to do so.

Where was it produced and who helped it come to life?

I produced and recorded it at my home studio! I played all the parts on the track, and the very next day started sending the demo to people (which I usually never do), to get some more ears on it. I felt so strongly that the song had some really good potential, and am super grateful to have gotten the feedback from all of my friends (and some strangers) who ended up hearing it before it was done. Curtis Roush, an incredible musician and engineer from TX, helped me take it to the next level with a beautiful mix and great mastering work.

Can fans expect to see it on an upcoming EP or LP?

I really hope so! There are a few other things in the works that will materialize sooner or later, but I really wanted to let this song have its moment.

What messages or feelings do you typically try to convey in your music?

There was a really great piece of advice about songwriting that I heard a few years ago, and it was to “write about the things you don’t want anyone to know about you.” I try to be as honest as I can when I write, because sometimes I feel like that is the only way I can say the things I really want to say. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your background in composing for film and theater and how that may influence your own music?

When I was in college, I had a few opportunities to compose scores for works of Shakespeare. I really loved the fluidity that came from working with pieces of text like that. Since then, I’ve always sought out more composing/scoring projects, because I love the way that it makes you think about music as a whole, not necessarily just individual songs. There’s this thruline that is incredibly intriguing and appealing to me, which has definitely carried over into how I write my own music, how I sequence albums, build on themes, etc.

What might a dream gig look like for you?

It would be a full band show, at a bigger (but not too big) venue. Everyone I love would be in the audience. I’d love to open for an act I admire (there are far too many to name here). I’ve been lucky to have some dream gigs in my life, but ultimately, that experience is magnified when I can share it with my dear friends and family, and learn from musicians I love. 

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

If Alaina and Patrick (from TENNIS) end up reading this interview, please produce my next record. 

What other goals – whether musically or otherwise – do you have for the rest of 2022?

I’m really excited to get back out on the road and play more shows. The goal is definitely to be doing that as much as possible. To open for bigger acts, and keep connecting with people through music–this odd language that we all somehow seem to understand.

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