The Refrain Interview: Emma And The Fragments

Emma and the Fragments are a female-fronted indie rock band based in East London. Emma on lead vocals, Donn on guitar, Jonny on bass and Jon on drums. Emma and the Fragments have made a name for themselves with their hard-edged indie rock, first heard on their 2018 EP Sanity and now in their latest EP ‘Smile ‘Til It Hurts’ with singles being released across 2021.

The EP blends jangly guitars and dreamy harmonies with crashing crescendos, anthemic chorus’ and the occasional delay-drenched solo. The end result is a uniquely multifaceted sound that rewards a second and third listen, one that would be equally at home in the playlists of both the most ardent Joy Division fan and a serious lover of Circa Waves and Foals. The band recently signed to London based record label Regent Street Records

Emma and the Fragments have created jingles for Virgin Radio, and were subsequently interviewed as part of their house band feature. Emma herself was even named the Best Frontperson by Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons fame, at the Captify Battle of the Bands event. Since then, the group have gone on to tour the South East widely, and have played numerous festivals, including Vann Fest in Surrey. Emma and the Fragments were also asked to support All Saints at Advertising Week Europe.

We had the chance to sit down with the band as part of our “The Refrain Interview” series.

Refrain Music Blog: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You have a new single out now. Tell us about it? What’s it called? 

The single is called Proper Everything – it’s the 4th single we have released this year and will be part of our forthcoming EP titled Smile ‘Til it Hurts (which is also a lyric from the song!) 

RMB: What’s the single about? 

The song was inspired by Victoria Park in East London and uses the imagery of the park to describe wanting to spend time with someone you like and are starting to fall in love with. The phrase ‘proper everything’ is used to describe how amazing the relationship could be! 

RMB: What’s the story on how it was recorded?
The song was recorded at Buffalo Studios in East London. The EP was recorded last autumn which was during lockdown, so it was the first time the band had seen each other and played the songs in at least six months. So we went from lockdown to studio recording.
We like to go into the studio with songs we had already written and ideally played at a live gig, so we have a feel of how an audience reacts to a song. 

The title of the song came from a rehearsal, when Emma made up the phrase when describing how well things had gone and thought it was a great name for a song. 

RMB: Is it part of a larger album?  

Proper Everything is the 4th single we’ve released this year and will be part of an EP called Smile ‘Til It Hurts (which is also a lyric from the song!)  

RMB: When is that album out?

The EP will be released later in 2021 and will contain the 4 singles released this year plus an extra track 

RMB: How many songs on the album?

It’s 5 in total 

RMB: Is this your first album?

This is the 3rd EP we’ve released- each EP marks an evolution in our music. We’ve always had a real indie rock sound but the latest EP is definitely darker- two of the tracks (Circle of Concern and Back to Blue) use synths and samples which we haven’t done before, The latest EP will have more contrast than our previous releases which you can hear in the latest single Proper Everything which is really energetic and brings out the more fun, indie rock side of our music.

RMB: Tell us a little about the band.

There are four of us- Emma lead vocals (who formed the band originally), Donn on guitar, Jonny on bass and Jon on drums 

RMB: How long have you been together? When and how did you form? 

It all started when Emma auditioned for a musical theatre project, which evolved into ‘Emma and the Fragments’ when Emma started writing songs about 8 years ago.

RMB: Have you had any significant line up changes recently? What happened and how is everyone feeling about it?

We do have a new bassist – Jonny Leigh- who joined us earlier this year. Our previous bassist Doug who had been part of the band for 8 years decided to take a break from music, so we were very happy when after only one audition Jonny fitted in with us perfectly!

RMB: What’s the one thing you are most proud of in your career so far?

Being cheeky, we would have to say two things! In 2017 we supported All Saints at an Media Industry event and in 2021 being signed to a record label – Regent Street Records.

RMB: If you had to pitch your music to a potential fan in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?

90s inspired female fronted indie rock, which combines catchy hooks with melodic riffs.

RMB: What’s one piece of advice you’ve gotten that you think everyone needs to hear or that has meant the most to you?

Just enjoy it! Music should be about creating, entertaining and enjoying the process- it’s so easy now to become obsessed with numbers when in reality if your music has inspired even one person then you’ve succeeded.

RMB: If you could go back in time, what’s a piece of advice you would give to a younger you?

Believe in yourself, good things will happen!

RMB: What’s coming up next for your musical project?

More of the same! We have one more track and the EP to release this year and will be writing and recording more music for release next year.

RMB: Anything we haven’t thought of that you want to talk about? Now is the time!

On October 2nd we are hosting our very own music event ‘Fragfest’ in East London. We’ve put together a line up of bands we’ve played with over the years so really looking forward to playing live again – it’s great to be putting on our very own all day music gig. If you’re in the UK/London then check out our Facebook page or any of our socials to find out more!

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