FLETCHER is stripping everything back to the rawest form possible and giving you pure vulnerability through her emotionally endearing new EP ‘The S(ex) Tapes’. The bold collection of tracks is an exploration of heartbreak, and the continuous cycling that her and her ex have been stuck in over the past four years.
Beginning at the end, she details the intimate longing, the wish to hate them to make the grief process easier, the attempts to move on, the realisation that you still love them, the vulnerable break down, and the inevitable return to them. It’s such a vivid, honest and beautiful journey of reflection that captivates the listener the entire way through the diverse seven tracks.
There’s a moment on the EP for everyone with everything in-between pulsating synths and tender confessions. The lead single ‘Bitter’ featuring Australian producer Kito has dominated streaming platforms, and has simply laid down the foundations for the cinematic array of sounds that comes from tracks like ‘If I Hated You’, ‘The One’, ‘Feel’ and ‘Sex (With My Ex)’. There are songs that feel comforting and like an intimate confessional directly to the listener, and there are also songs that make you want to go simultaneously dance and cry on a dance floor.
I recently chatted with FLETCHER about the strong and cohesive vision behind ‘The S(ex) Tapes’ that saw her “leaking” her own EP, as well as explored the stories behind ‘If I Hated You’, ‘The One’ and ‘Feel’, and realising that vulnerability is our greatest superpower. Check it out BELOW;
THOMAS BLEACH: ’The S(ex) Tapes’ is a very vivid collection of tracks that has such a strong, concise and cohesive vision aesthetically and thematically. So when you were creating this EP were you aware of the vision you had?
FLETCHER: The concept and the title ‘The S(ex) Tapes’ was really one of the last things to come about. All of these songs have been written over the past year and a half. I was about to leave to go on a European tour right before quarantine, and obviously, as well all know, everything started. I ended up not going on the tour, so I reached out to my ex and was like “hey, should we spend this time together”, and that’s where ‘The S(ex) Tapes’ vision was born.
We were having a lot of honest, difficult, painful but beautiful conversations while we were spending those couple of months together. And I was like “all of this music is about us, so maybe a way for us to process this time would be to show people what it looks like”. I think a lot of the time in media the only representations of relationships we get, especially because there isn’t much representation of queer relationships, is either “I love you, it’s us together forever, you’re amazing” or it’s “fuck you, fuck my ex, you’re a piece of shit”. There’s no in-between. Where is the “I love you, but life is complicated and I’m still trying to figure myself and my sexuality out”? I definitely have co-dependency issues. I’ve been in relationships since I was fourteen years old, and I just honestly need to learn how to stand on my own two feet. There’s so much to unpack.
But just us being in quarantine together was really intimate. We were filming these visuals on a hand held camera just us two, there was no crew. We did set design, I did hair, make up and wardrobe. It was just us, a camera and voice note recordings. We just explored what it’s like trying to be a 20 something in love, but there being so much more than that.
TB: To tie into the sex tape branding, you are going to be leaking it and releasing it early on September 9, instead of the original September 18 announcement. Do you think any of your fans have caught onto the fact that this might be happening?
F: What’s really funny now is that because I keep dropping hints and saying “keep a close eye”, that they think that everything is a hint. So they are following my best friends on social media, and my roommate tweeted something with some numbers and I saw a whole thread of someone doing math to try figure out what the fuck it meant *laughs*. Sometimes it is, and sometimes they are right. But I am just having fun being a bit cryptic with it for sure.
I don’t think they know that I’m going to leak my own sex tape early so that will be a big surprise coming way earlier than they think it is. I’m really excited to see their reactions.
TB: ’If I Hated You’ is a song that hit me in the feels the first time I heard it. Lyrically it’s so deeply relatable, and the accompanying production is SO strong. So can you explain to me how this song creatively came together?
F: I wrote this one with Mozella who did Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’, which is the anthem of my entire life. She’s been like a songwriter mum, older sister, and mentor to me over the years. I feel like every time we are in the studio together I’m in shambles, and something shitty is happening in my life.
I’ve been in an on-and-off again relationship for four years, and at that time it was off, and I just went into the studio that day and was bawling on the couch. I said “this would be so much easier if I hated her”, and that’s kinda where the concept stated. I realised that “I could do all these things and maybe it would be easier for me to do them if I hated you”.
So that’s actually the oldest song on the EP as it was written first, about a year and a half ago. That one’s been there for a while and still rings true today. So it’s funny how you can write something at one point in time, and then it still feels really relevant a year and a half later.
TB: Sonically ‘Silence’ feels like the sequel to ‘Forever’, but ‘The One’ is actually like lyrically the other side of that idea with you saying “you’re not the one, but you can be the one right now” while on ‘Forever’ you’re like “think I could love you forever and ever. But don’t think we should be together, right now”. Was that the first time that you’ve lyrically done that, and explored the polar opposite idea?
F: It’s funny cause I definitely didn’t think about that, or realise I did that until now *laughs*, I guess the storylines just kinda came together like that.
‘Forever’ is about this person that I think is fucking perfect, but realising that I’m a hot mess and don’t have my shit together. Timing just sucks, and it highlights the fact that I need to grow up. Whereas ‘The One’ is not about that person, it’s about when you break-up that things happen and people happen. It’s apart of exploring and embodying your own sexuality and power. You have times where you realise you want to feel good on your own and sometimes you just want someone for the night.
That’s also how that one also connects into ‘Shh… Don’t Say It’, because it’s about someone telling me that they like me and me going “please don’t fucking tell me this. I don’t have the emotional capacity. Im so fucked up, and still in love with my ex. Let’s just make out and call it a night”.
TB: ’Feel’ is the EP’s tender ballad moment and there is a lot of amazing vivid imagery. My favourite lyric is “So I’ll drink this wine like it’s medicine for the mind. Onto my tongue, oh, cause I still taste your love”. There’s such an emotional and relatable rawness to it. What is your favourite lyric from the song?
F: For me, just because it’s the most personal, probably, “Now I’m lying here awake, just staring at the ceilings fans, spinning around in circles all over again“. Just because Ive been here before, and we’ve been here before.
‘Feel’ is the sitting down in the shower crying song, the really pathetic breakdown where all the distractions have stopped working. Like you’ve gone out, done the things, done all the partying, and it’s when all of that wears off, and you’re like “fuck”. It’s the rock bottom moment of a break-up where you realise that this person isn’t here anymore. That bridge and lyric is probably the one that hits me the most and is definitely the song that I’m in the faze of right now. So yeah, it’s heavy. It’s a song from the minute that I heard a voice memo of it from the writers that did it, that wrecked me.
TB: You’ve been on quite a self discovery journey throughout these three EP’s. ‘Finding Fletcher’ felt like a strong introductory moment for you that laid down the foundations of who you are, and then ‘you ruined new york city for me’ was the vulnerable unravelling for you, and now your in ‘The S(ex) Tapes’ where you’ve found a new confidence in being vulnerable. So how would you say you’ve found who you are now?
F: These three bodies of work really represent an unfolding over time of me discovering myself. The ‘Finding Fletcher’ EP was about me discovering my sexuality for the first time, and falling in love with a girl for the first time, and what it was like falling in love with them. And then ‘you ruined new york city for me’ was all about that very same person breaking my heart. And then this new music is an embodiment of being in an adult relationship, and finding yourself, and the real shit that love is accompanied by. It also explores sexuality, the independence and the realness of trying to fucking be a grown up and not really knowing what to do or having the answers.
There is definitely a new found sense of confidence in my vulnerability, and in realising that it’s our greatest superpower. It’s something that I’ve really embraced and become synonymous within my own existence. It’s something that people will always get from me. I will never stop being vulnerable. Like, crying is cool and being honest is cool. I truly believe that the most revolutionary and radical thing you can do is just be so unapologetically yourself and be honest with that.
Just be a good person, and tell your truth, and tell your story. Like, if your hurting, let people know. If you’re happy, let people know. The question I’ve been asking a lot of my friends and family during quarantine is “how is your heart? How is your heart doing?”. It always makes you answer differently instead of asking “how are you?”, as everyone’s go to with that question is “I’m good”. But the reality is that we’re probably not good right now, and that’s okay.
TB: The best question I got during quarantine was “what colour is your heart today” which really caught me off guard, but I loved it!
F: I like that! I actually might steal that one from you!
You can check out part two of the conversation with FLETCHER at Purple Sneakers HERE
‘The S(ex) Tapes’ is out now!