Paula Frazer

Paula Frazer is an American singer-songwriter. She grew up in Georgia and Arkansas and moved to San Francisco in 1981. Her music is frequently described as melancholic alternative country, but with an eclectic mix of folk, blues and pop, among other genres. She first came to notice by fronting the band Tarnation in the 1990s and has appeared on recordings and in concert with many bands and solo artists including Cornershop, Sean Lennon, Frightwig, Tindersticks, the Czars, and Handsome Boy Modeling School.

Paula Frazer
Born (1963-04-24) April 24, 1963 (age 57)
OriginGeorgia, Arkansas
GenresAlternative country, folk, blues, pop
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1981–present
LabelsReprise/Warner Bros. Records
4AD Records
Birdman Records
MRG Recordings [1]
Associated actsTarnation, Frightwig, Faith No More

Before forming Tarnation, Frazer played with numerous SF bands, such as Cloiter, Virginia Dare, Frightwig, Trial, and Pleasant Day. Tarnation MK1 featured Brandan Kearney, owner of the SF NufSed label. Kearney didn't stay in the band for long, but he gave Frazer the chance to release Tarnation's debut. That first Tarnation record was called I'll Give You Something To Cry About, and initially appeared in an edition of only 1,000 copies. In 1995, 4AD released Gentle Creatures, an album featuring several songs off the previous album. Warn Defever (His Name Is Alive) helped in the production. Mirador appeared in 1997. One year later, Frazer dropped the Tarnation name and continued as a solo artist. In 2006 Frazer revived the Tarnation name and released her seventh record, Now It's Time in March 2007 under the name of Paula Frazer and Tarnation.

Frazer is also a professional weaver. She was one of the temporary vocalists of Faith No More sometime in between 1983 and 1984. At the time the band only played shows, and often asked new people to step in. The band's bassist, Billy Gould, claims to have recorded material of all shows played during that era.


As Tarnation

As Paula Frazer

As Paula Frazer and Tarnation

  • Now It's Time (2007; Birdman Records)
  • In Some Time (EP) (2014; MRG Recordings)
  • What Is And Was (2017; New High Recordings)


  • Richardson, Derk (August 19, 2005). "Paula Frazer weaves an intricate tapestry of musical styles and eras on her new CD". SF Gate. Retrieved October 12, 2006.
  • Armstrong, Gene (October 6, 2005). "Singer-songwriter Paula Frazer weaves gorgeous alt-country from ashes of Tarnation". Tucson Weekly. Retrieved October 12, 2006.
  • Lanham, Tom (October 20, 2005). "Frazer weaves beyond music Paula Frazer weaves spell beyond". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved October 19, 2006.
  • Raaggett, Ned. "Paula Frazer, Biography". Allmusic.
  • Iannelli, E. J. "Tarnation: What's with the who in Tarnation". The Daily Copper. Retrieved March 9, 2007.

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