Fragile Rock

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Fragile Rock
Emo puppet band Fragile Rock .jpg
Fragile Rock performing on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert in 2017.
Background information
OriginAustin, Texas, United States
GenresGarage rock, comedy rock, emo
Years active2014–present
LabelsTin Pan Pally (ASCAP)
MembersSee Members section

Fragile Rock is an American musical collective of musicians and puppeteers, described as an "emo puppet band." The band formed in Austin, Texas in 2014 as the brainchild of musician and writer Brently Heilbron.


The band's name is a play on Fraggle Rock, the children's puppet show, as well as a reference to the band's "emo" music. Heilbron plays Milo S., a self-described "partist" (poet and artist). In the back-story of Fragile Rock, Milo forms the band with the only person who auditioned to play guitar, Kyle Danko. They are later joined by drummer Coco Bangs, as well as backing vocalists The Cocteau Triplets (a play on the Cocteau Twins) and Milo's apparent former love interest, Nic Hole. Their live shows often involve S. and Hole getting involved with personal arguments, comically derailing the performance.[1] An ongoing subject of conflict is romance between Nic Hole and actor Elijah Wood. Wood played along in a 2016 appearance at Fantastic Fest, admitting that he was "in love with Nic Hole."[2] The characters of Milo and Nic are loosely based on the real-life relationship of Heilbron and Megan Thornton, who plays Nic.[3]

The puppets were created by Shaun Branigan. A music video directed by Jessica Gardner for the song "I Am Sad (And So Am I)" was released on YouTube in January 2015.[4][5][6][7]

After an initial theatrical run in 2015, the band began playing music venues. They were invited to appear on the reality series America's Got Talent in 2016 but their appearance was never aired.[8] This experience was documented in the article entitled "Brutality Television" for the Austin Chronicle. The attention from this, however, earned them a spot in the official South by South West 2017 lineup.[9] Bob Boilen featured Fragile Rock as a post-festival highlight[10] in a podcast for All Songs Considered.

Fragile Rock released their debut EP, Weepy, in February 2017.[11] It was followed by the release of their debut studio album, Wake Up to the Break-Up, in June.[12] In July, the band appeared on NPR as a part of the Tiny Desk Concert series.[13] The final song of the performance was "Fairuza Balk," a track from the album named after the American actress. In response to the performance, Balk tweeted that the dedication "made [her] year," calling the performance "wonderful an [sic] hilarious." [14]

In 2018, Fragile Rock returned to South by South West as an official showcasing artist [15][16] where they were voted one of the top 10 acts to see at the festival by Yahoo! music[17] They returned in 2019, playing NPR's Tiny Desk showcase with Wyclef Jean, Amanda Palmer Gaelynn Lea and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso.[18][19] Variety noted them in their "Best Music We Saw at SXSW" article.[20] After SXSW, Fragile Rock was referred to as "the perfect festival act".[21] In 2019, they were named by NPR as one of the Top 5 Most Uplifting Tiny Desk Concerts of all time in a list that includes Lizzo, Superorganism (band), Dan Deacon, and Mucca Pazza.[22]



  • Weepy EP (2017)
  • Wake Up to the Break-Up LP (2017)


  1. ^ Corcoran, Nina. "Meet Fragile Rock, The World's First Emo Puppet Band". The Nerdist. Nerdist Industries. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. ^ Fragile Rock (2015-10-01), Elijah Wood vs. Fragile Rock, retrieved 2017-08-07
  3. ^ Development, PodBean. "Episode 611: Fragile Rock Returns!". Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  4. ^ Fragile Rock (2015-01-12), emo puppet band Fragile Rock: I Am Sad And So Am I (Official), retrieved 2017-07-30
  5. ^ "shaunbraniganpuppets". shaunbraniganpuppets. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  6. ^ "Meet Fragile Rock, the World's First Emo Puppet Band | Nerdist". Nerdist. 2017-02-09. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  7. ^ ago, April Jones5 months (2017-02-08). "An Emo Puppet Band? Yes! Meet Fragile Rock". Culturess. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  8. ^ "Brutality Television". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  9. ^ "Emo Puppet Band Fragile Rock Bring Their #PuppetPain to SXSW". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  10. ^ "Why SXSW Matters: The Best Of What We Saw, 2017". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
  11. ^ "Weepy EP by Fragile Rock on Apple Music". iTunes.
  12. ^ "Wake Up to the Break-Up - Fragile Rock". Squarespace. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Fragile Rock: NPR Tiny Desk Concert". YouTube. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  14. ^ Balk, Fairuza (2017-07-16). "You guys just made my year:)! You are wonderful an hilarious:) I am honoured to have been sung to by a puppet band!!". @fairuza. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  15. ^ "Superorganism, YFN Lucci, Low, Bad Gyal, and 500+ more Showcasing Artists announced for SXSW 2018". SXSW. 2018-01-10. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  16. ^ "What We Saw At SXSW: Many Rooms, Idles, MAX". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  17. ^ "The 10 best things we saw at SXSW 2018". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  18. ^ "Fragile Rock". SXSW 2019 Schedule. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  19. ^ "Tiny Desk Family Hour: Fragile Rock". Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  20. ^ Amter, Jeff Miller,Charlie; Miller, Jeff; Amter, Charlie (2019-03-17). "The Best Music We Saw at SXSW 2019". Variety. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  21. ^ Sigler, Gabriel (2019-03-20). "SXSW 2019: The 20 best acts we saw at this year's festival". Bad Feeling Magazine. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  22. ^ "The 5 Most Uplifting Tiny Desk Concerts". Retrieved 2019-10-01.