“People always ask, ‘Did you intentionally plan to be this open and honest?'” FLETCHER says, chatting with Consequence over Zoom on a rainy day in New York City. “Maybe it’s a combination of being from Jersey, and having an Italian mother, and that no filter exists, but, for me, it’s been so liberating.”
As a songwriter and artist, FLETCHER committed herself boldly to the idea of “open and honest” writing for the tracks in her official debut full-length album, Girl of My Dreams (arriving Friday, September 16th via Capitol Records). With three EPs already under her belt, FLETCHER’s reach exploded to an entirely new level following the release of single “Becky’s So Hot.” There’s using personal details in a song, and then there’s writing a song about an ex’s new partner and including their name.
People couldn’t get enough — TikTok latched onto the song, and the story behind it, and sprinted with it. The album, though, which FLETCHER describes as “a collection of thirteen honest feelings,” is much more than internet drama or tabloid-type stories. If there’s drama in Girl of My Dreams, it’s more in the theatrical sense than it is in the vein of gossip.
“The album is a lot of everything, and that’s what I’m feeling about it, too,” she says. Our conversation is taking place a few weeks before the album becomes available to the public, and she’s feeling nervous, excited, not ready, and beyond ready, all at the same time.
Despite the fact that TikTok and social media were partially responsible for the viral success of “Becky’s So Hot” and the hype that’s built around the album’s release, FLETCHER is aware of the double-edged sword of living in an age with access to a constant stream of reminders of things we are doing wrong. “We live in a world that capitalizes off of our self-hatred — you should look like this, and wear this, and talk like this,” she observes. “We’re constantly being re-affirmed of a narrative around our ‘not enough-ness,’ and being told that we don’t have the things we need to life a life of fulfillment and success.” She shakes her head. “That’s just not fucking true.”
She calls telling the truth her form of rebellion — where people shy away from harder, messier subjects, she sees it as an invitation to bring it all to the table. She put this album together with some trusted collaborators, including Jenn Decilveo (“My favorite Jersey bitch”), and producer Malay, who also produced her two previous EPs. “I get to walk into the studio like a hot mess, and it’s therapy,” she says of being surrounded by people already attuned to her creative process.
At the end of the day, she loves being a storyteller, through the catharsis and anxiety that existing in that vulnerable of a space tends to bring in equal measure. “I’ve always really liked telling stories in a chronological order, and that’s how the album is set up track-wise,” she reveals of the structure in Girl of My Dreams. The story in the LP specifically picks up where her 2020 EP THE S(EX) TAPES left off.
For FLETCHER, a queer woman who has spent plenty of time grappling with the feelings that often come from time in what she describes as “conservative, religious spaces,” there’s a tangible catharsis present in the album. Over thirteen songs, she reflects on relationships from various points of her life and how they’ve informed her own trajectory. She calls Track 5, the aching pre-release single “Better Version,” one of her favorite songs she’s ever written.
The story ends on an optimistic note with the soaring “For Cari” — FLETCHER was born Cari Fletcher, and the track is a letter to herself. “I’ll say farewell to the hard times/ And I’ll say fuck you to the bad vibes,” she says on the chorus; it’s a toast to herself and her story so far.
Where many artists prefer to keep at least a bit of a screen between their life and the audience, FLETCHER tears any semblance of that away with Girl of My Dreams. It’s a cohesive listen, a great record to throw on and listen to in its entirety, but she’s also clear that the healing we are witnessing is non-linear. Chronologically, she may be bringing us along from start to finish, but that doesn’t mean pain is assuaged with any sort of steadiness.
This isn’t a pessimistic stance — FLETCHER is just telling us the truth. “I get to turn it all into something that gets to outlive me,” she says. “That’s the most beautiful thing ever.”
Catch FLETCHER on tour; tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
Girl of My Dreams Artwork: