Ciarra Fragale rages against the mind on “Lose My Cool”

Plenty of artists have made songs for channeling rage, but Ciarra Fragale distinguishes herself with “Lose My Cool,” a song about the frustration of not experiencing frustration. Fragale shared some thoughts on the track below:

“This song is a love letter to all of the times that I should have gotten mad. I’m not an overtly reactive person, though, there have been times in my life that I wish I had been. This was the product of finally allowing myself to freak out about some things. A one-night, marathon session. I ran around the house, ripped up paper, burned things in a fire pit, played guitar really loud, and just had a cathartic experience with myself. Once I got it all out there, I took a deep breath, went back to my guitar, and started writing. I think a lot of people can relate to wanting to just lose your sh*t sometimes. It was a whirlwind of a night, I stayed up until 2am writing and recording this song. I’ve never had a writing experience like that before. “Lose My Cool” has provided a lot of comfort for me, and is a good reminder that it’s okay to feel the full extent of your feelings.”

Fragale, a native of New York’s Hudson Valley, starts measured, with crisp and emphatic delivery consistent with her portrayal of herself as someone who’s been attempting to feel organized for too long. But there’s something lurking beneath the polish of her voice and steady pace of the bass and drums.  While “Lose My Cool” has a section tagged “instrumental freak out,” it excites not through deployment of effects pedals but through Fragale’s knack for uncovering the feelings hidden within feelings.

Fragale also answered some of our questions about the song and herself, via email.

You wrote this song in one night. Is that a habit you expect to continue?

It was very much something I didn’t expect to happen, which I think was the secret ingredient. The organic-ness of how a song is made is always something I’m trying to chase. I’m the type of songwriter who has a feeling and just rolls with it. I try not to marry myself to one way of writing. The immediacy of it was awesome. It was really fun to just fully commit to fleshing something out in one night–especially since I don’t generally write like that all the time.

How do you find emotions to guide your songwriting?

I really try to capture what I’m feeling in the moment, and process that in real time. Or if I’m writing about something in retrospect, I try to recall how I felt at the time. Sometimes it can bring a lot of stuff up, but I think that makes for effective processing–especially if it is something rather intense or emotionally laborious. I’m never searching for the emotions, they always just come naturally.

What are some of your favorite songs about anger or dealing with anger?

When I’m feeling like I need some sort of cathartic release, I usually go for songs that are a little bit more musically intense. “Drunk II” by Mannequin Pussy is a really great one to let loose to. It’s not a song explicitly about anger, but it was written in a very raw state and it totally reflects that. It really rocks.

You also work as a vintage wholesaler. How did that start?

I do! Since age 13 I’ve always been entranced by vintage clothing. I realized I had a real eye for it when I was in college, and offered to be a cherry picker for a vintage store that opened in my town. That turned into me building up a client base, bringing us to now. I’m quite passionate about it as another avenue for expression.

Ciarra Fragale’s self-titled album is out now. You can find her on her website, Facebook and Instagram.