A self-liberation and self-love manifesto...

From having everyone in a chokehold with ‘Undrunk’ in 2019, which catapulted the fast-rising artist into mainstream attention, Fletcher has made her name through anthemic songs that crystalise the sapphic experience. The New Jersey-bred pop sensation, known for her openly honest tracks, has made a massive cultural impact by speaking her truth with total abandon and continues to expand on her fearless candid storytelling throughout her entire discography.  By blending tragic heartbreak with bittersweet, metaphoric revenge, the critically acclaimed queer icon has always been drawn to the nuanced, sometimes ugly emotions that people tend to shy away from. It’s that cards-on-the-table approach that sometimes stirs up controversy, but also brings in an audience who loves her authenticity, as she shares her dreams, fears, fantasies and all the fleeting feelings inbetween.

Described as an album that takes “a deeper dive into self-exploration”, Fletcher’s debut album, ‘Girl Of My Dreams’, is a chaotic, unfiltered project that unpacks and tackles insecurities head-on. The songs are built on a high energy, hypnotic sound, including everything from pop-punk to dance-pop and understated folk, that sees her exploring every raw emotion on a fluid, dynamic and supremely satisfying odyssey through all the joy and pain of relationships. It is an intense rollercoaster of supercharged pop but even in it’s painful moments, the record radiates an undeniable hope.

Recalling her softer pop-punk origins, ‘Birthday Girl’ and ‘Better Version’ share heavy-hearted expressions of post-breakup grief whilst lightly attacking electric guitars in hybrid fingerpicking styles. Remaining at a mellow pace throughout, the sorrowful speculation of ‘Birthday Girl’ sees a kaleidoscopic flurry of vocal percussion that opens up the chorus in the most beautiful, angelic way whilst ‘Better Version’, though still angelic, sports a rawer, more emotional tone through Fletcher’s confessional lyrics and stripped back ballad-styled chorus.

Taking on a glorious velocity with a dance-pop beat, ‘Serial Heartbreaker’ finds Fletcher owning up to her imperfections: “Sensitive but not enough. I’m not the best at breaking up. Too soon to rip the band-aid off. I’m a sucker for the f*ck me up.” It carries through ‘Girl Of My Dreams’, an album grounded firmly in the past with the hopes of healing in the present. Fletcher continuously dives into turbulent emotions in cutting-edge pop tracks packed with bracing lyrics and this album is no exception. 

Although much of this record emerged from exacting introspection, Fletcher also offers up wildly euphoric tracks such as ‘Guess We Lied’ and ‘My Body Is Bible’ that spotlights her gift for crafting profoundly resonant pop songs with extraordinary specificity. Leading into euphoric choruses that makes for a clear album highlight, ‘Guess We Lied’ walks a fine line between bitterness and heartbreak whilst ‘Her Body Is Bible’ explores the tenderness of a sapphic relationship using religious themes. The subtly sexy track, which takes an r-rated twist to detail intimate interactions, catches the sentiments of escapism and perfectly mirrors the intimate experiences through the confessional build-up and tension pauses alongside the snappy lyricism. 

At the end of the day, Fletcher loves being a storyteller. Where people shy away from harder, messier subjects, she sees it as an invitation to lay everything out bare. The catharsis and anxiety existing in that vulnerable space tends to bring an equal measure and closing in on her emotional journey, tracks ‘I Think I’m Growing’, ‘Girl Of My Dreams’, ‘I Love You, Bitch’, and ‘For Cari’ show true self-acceptance and obscurity. The introspective tracks, set to minimalist production and soaring harmonies, lyrically find Fletcher confronting self-reflection and replacing any insecurities with a determined and confident sense of self-love. As a queer woman who has spent plenty of time grappling with the feelings that often come from conservative, religious spaces, it’s refreshing to see her reflect on relationships from various points of her live and share how they’ve informed her own trajectory. It ends the record on an optimistic note, a letter to herself, as ‘For Cari’ is a toast to herself and her story so far showcasing that Fletcher is now, evidently, in a place to happily voice her own self-love.

With its unfiltered look at the most intimate emotional experiences life has to offer, ‘Girl Of My Dreams’ results in Fletcher’s most revealing and revelatory body of work to date. The candid storytelling of loss and trauma, the pain of personal growth, and the power of true self-acceptance opens up to serving soft pop-punk brilliancy in an exhilarating yet hypnotising project. It solidifies her position as more than just a queer artist and, with this self-liberation and self-love manifesto, it is one that embodies all Fletcher set out to achieve.


Words: Shannon Garner

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