By Will Yannacoulias
Today marks the release of the video single “Counterfeit” from dark, moody Regina trio Femme Fragile. Previous singles “Pretty & Dying” and “Feel Me” paired Shelynn Fretz’s velvet vocals and on-the-brink lyrics with David Roman’s eerie guitar-driven goth rock arrangements, now complimented by new guitarist Kyle Westberg. “Counterfeit”, their third offering, is a further showcase of what has become Femme Fragile’s signature sound. Roman and Fretz shared with NSMZ a window into their songwriting, details about the production of the “Countetfeit” video, and what projects Femme Fragile has in the works.
Roman collaborated with award winning Pilot Butte filmmaker Marzia Kamyabi to shoot the band’s second video. “I filmed everything guerrilla style” Roman shared. “I really wanted the video to feel like a bunch of Vic Park kids now turned adults, hanging out around downtown Regina. I was inspired by a lot of local hip hop music videos style wise, but felt I wanted to add my own twist with our whole goth and emo aesthetic.”
The production of “Counterfeit“ was very much a collaborative project, with Roman and Kamyabi sharing and exchanging ideas and input. “I always enjoy just grabbing camera gear and seeing what you’ll find when you get to locations“ Roman said, offering insight into his filmmaking process. “We plan things out to a point, but lots of the shots we grabbed were really spontaneous. I just let Marzia do her thing and I tried to compliment that on my side of the cinematography. It was a lot of fun, and felt low stress and collaborative, the way I prefer the artistic process to feel.”
Shelynn Fretz’s songwriting is highly personal, exploring themes of anguish and frustration, candidly sharing her own stories and experiences. Fretz reflected that the inspiration for “Counterfeit”, like many of her songs, drew deeply from her own life. “When I started writing the lyrics for ‘Counterfeit’ not a lot of them seemed to fit. Everything started falling into place when I tapped into feelings of betrayal from friendships, people I loved wholly and thought I could trust. ‘Counterfeit’ is about how hard it can be to come back, and how silly you feel when you didn't see everything for what it was until you were hurt. ‘Just be careful picking up the pieces, blood stained, broken, shattered little pieces.’ It can almost hurt more putting yourself back together and dealing with all of the little pieces of information and self discovery. I think most people can relate to that.”
A productive summer and fall has resulted in Femme Fragile having several exciting projects in the works, including another video and the release of their forthcoming album. “This is the third single of off our debut LP Things Are Not Okay, which is already recorded and ready to release.” said Roman. “It’s been a long time coming, but I really feel like we have a lot of momentum building now. We already have our next video grant funded and we’re booked for shooting. We were lucky to be selected for the Creative City Centre Social Media Marketing for Artists (SMMART) program. They filmed live performances and an interview so that’s due out in the future as well. It’s really surreal and exciting to see it all come together and receive so much support.”