Originally from Olympia in Washington, Erica Freas has been moving around the world and bringing her music with her ever since. Now based out of Bristol, via Berlin, Philadelphia and London, Erica has been sharing her songs with the world since way back in 2012, both as a solo artist and as a member of RVIVR and Somnia. After decades fronting punk bands and writing sparse solo records, Erica’s latest offering Young, out this Friday on Specialist Subject, is something of a departure for Erica. Eleven tracks pinned by a common thread, love songs for her friends at moments of change and transition.
While Erica’s previous work tended to focus on the wider subjects of representation and social injustice, Young is a more inward glancing record, as Erica explains, “these songs are about being alive, whether we’re new to it or have been around awhile”. As well as a lyrical departure, Young is also a stylistic one, forgoing the live recording style that marked previous offerings, here Erica embraced the flexibility time can give, stretching out the scope of these songs, embracing new textures and techniques, allowing the songs to go wherever their hearts desired. The result is a record, that while still distinctly minimal, has great texture and variety: it is a record that feels alive and crackling with an energy that’s undeniably human. Erica seems to have taken time, allowed for both the songwriting and the recordings to bloom, grow and thrive as a result, Young is a gentle triumph.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Erica Freas?
I’m a human from Olympia WA USA currently living in Bristol. I ran a record label from 2007-2017 called Rumbletowne Records and have played in a handful of bands. I just really love making music and making it in loads of different styles and I love being a part of an alive music community.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
Three very different scenarios come to mind: at 16, I played Landslide at a high school choir concert; I played bass drum in formation in the streets of Seattle when I was 20 with the beloved anarchist marching band, The Infernal Noise Brigade; also that year I stood stiffly and tried to keep up with blistered, beat up fingers in the crust punk black metal band, Threnos. These are all hazy memories but I remember feeling thrilled to be on the stage, in the band, in the performance.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I don’t want to sound like a nerd but I just can’t imagine not making music. I can imagine making music that no one else heard, having it be a private part of my life but seriously it’s like breathing!
I like making visual art, too, and building things, but music is how I express myself best and it’s such a powerful feeling to collaborate with other people to make sounds together. I just love it. I’m a lover.
FTR: What can people expect from the Erica Freas live show?
At the moment you can expect to hear me playing and singing my heart out. It’s a simple live show which suits the songs, there’s space for them to be vulnerable.
FTR: What’s next for Erica Freas?
I want to do good by my new record, Young, stretch the songs out and break them in. Then I want to make many more records and play in lots of bands and sing on lot of friends’ records. I’m playing guitar in a band in Bristol. We’re called Cosmit. It’s Jez and Steve from Austeros (RIP), Kay from Specialist Subject Records and Max from Toodles & the Hectic Pity. In April, my songwriting collab project with David Combs (Bad Moves), SOMNIA is touring the UK.
They Listen To…
1. Lucinda Williams – Drunken Angel
2. Great Grandpa – Digger
3. Dogeyed – Waves
4. Cyndi Lauper – When You Were Mine
5. Slagheap – Catherine’s Pranging Out
Young is out February 28th via Specialist Subject. Click HERE for more information on Erica Freas.
Erica Freas Tour Dates29 Feb Bristol – radio/ON 3pm Free Show1 Mar London – Water Into Beer with Cristy Road Carrera9 Mar – Brooklyn14-16 Apr – Manchester Punk Fest 20209 May – Berlin – Miss The Stars Fest Garden Stage / Free Entry