For so long, emotions were hidden deep in pop music by metaphors with artists so worried about what people would think if they showed a little vulnerability and questioned if they would receive any radio-play if they didn’t do a song about partying. However those times have changed with songwriters like Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Sasha Sloan and Sarah Aarons leading the way as well as artists like Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran topping the charts.
This has all made it possible for artists like Fletcher to deliver the career defining EP that is ‘You Ruined New York For Me’. Over the past couple of years the New Jersey singer-songwriter has been receiving a lot praise and hype thanks to her social media presence and her impressive pure pop debut EP ‘Finding Fletcher’. But with three years in between releases, she has done a lot of soul searching and growing which has seen her evolve as an artist in a bold way. So this new EP is like a whole new introductory to that artist she wants to be. It’s bold, honest and very vulnerable. She doesn’t hide anything through these five songs which are extremely emotional and cathartic.
Treating her songwriting like therapy, no subject is off bounds and this EP captures that. Dealing with heartbreak and mental health, she will relate to anyone who is struggling to open up about change and anyone that needs to feel something real.
Opening track ‘If You’re Gonna Lie’ is a rhythmic dark-pop song that explores a cheating partner who continually lies to her face. Layering a sultry reggae beat over the dark-pop production, she spices things up which rolls perfectly into the bold ‘Undrunk’ which continues the story with her wishing she could undo going back to them in her weakest moments. “Wish I could get a little un-drunk so I could un-call you at 5 in the morning, I would un-fuck you. But some things you can’t undo”. It’s just one example of the blunt honestness that her new material embodies and it’s really fresh to hear.
Deeply rooted in pain, ‘All Love’ is a pulsating RNB injected pop song about heartbreak. It’s a little forgettable compared to the rest of the songs on the EP but her songwriting is still strong and honest. ‘About You’ is one of the clear standouts with it’s DIY production layering. Exploring the psychological pain you inflict on yourself after a break up, she creates an anthem for anyone who still questions “what if” even after all the hurt they’ve been through.
This then perfectly leads into EP closer ‘Strangers’ which would be a strong future single for the singer-songwriter. With the synth-pop production showing a different contrast to the rest of the material. She reflects on the relationship and how they are meant to go back to being strangers again which doesn’t make sense to her. “We started out as strangers, now we’re strangers again. The things I love about you, I’m supposed to forget”. It’s a fun pop track that is a different level of energy compared to the rest of the EP.
It’s a very mature collection tracks that soundtracks a heartbreak that obviously affected her more than she though it would. But that’s the best type of heartbreak, it’s real. You can’t fake that and you can’t totally imagine that feeling when your heart gets ripped out. And this EP managed to capture that rawness.