An interview with three members of Fragile Figures, discussing what it's like to be an independant band and how having a female vocalist sets them apart from other alternative artists.
May 5th marks an important day for Ottawa fans of alternative music, being the release day for The Truth of My Becoming, the first EP from local band Fragile Figures.
“It was a long process of tweaking and changing and rewriting lyrics,” said guitarist Tiago Underwood-Santos. “It took upwards of five months, at least.”
The five song EP opens with My Becoming, a dreamy, two minute piece with echoing guitar, a bit of synth, and light wind chimes that calmly ease the listener into the record.
“It’ll hit you in the sense that this is something you can groove to,” said lead vocalist Jessica Bianconi. “But then you can take time and sit back and listen to all the little nuances.”
The album smoothly flows between slow, dreamy pieces such as My Becoming, to a heavier, more gritty song full of power chords and drums heard in Displeasure the EP’s third track, and then intertwining soft and hard aspects when the record finishes with Sleepwalkers.
“My kind of style of writing on the EP is controlled chaos,” said drummer Jamison Tomka. “So many things happening at once, but when you step back it’s this one collective.”
The album changes between alternative, power pop, and pop-rock, giving the listener a unique experience, unable to fit into one specific genre. Lead vocalist Jessica Bianconi takes pride in this, especially being one of the few female fronted alternative bands in the Ottawa scene.
“As a woman, I feel like I want to encourage other women and girls to get out there and start performing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a vocalist or a drummer or a bassist. You can do whatever you want,” said Bianconi. “I’m here to play. I’m not the drummer or the guitarists’ girlfriend. I’m a lead singer.”
The other members of Fragile Figures agree that being female fronted takes the band in a positive way.
“It allows us to have a fresh spin on the way we approach music,” said Underwood-Santos. “It allows versatility and it makes our spectrum that much broader.”
“It’s really good to see more female fronted acts, more all female acts, more POC acts, more LGBT acts,” said Tomka. “It’s the evolution of music.”
As well as having a lead female vocalist, the band is happy to say that they are independent, recording and producing the EP on their own, in their homes.
“We really take pride in being able to do things [ourselves],” said Underwood-Santos. “Being independent and being self sustaining is really important in the music scene now.”
He and Tomka produced, engineered, and mixed the tracks for the EP. They hope to remain musically independent and self-sustaining.
“It’s DIY or go home,” said Bianconi. “When you’re in your own facility, your own home, you have time to experiment with how you want.”
Fragile Figures will continue working on future musical projects throughout the summer and into the autumn.
“Into the fall, we’re looking at starting to move toward the process for the full length [album],” said Underwood-Santos.
The Truth of My Becoming is available worldwide as of May 5 through Bandcamp.