FLETCHER | Biografie

Biografie (2024)


Over the past five years alone, FLETCHER has built up a body of work documenting the most intimate dimensions of fully living her truth: the pleasure and pain, triumph and risk, inevitable missteps and moments of real transcendence. Along with earning her an ever-growing number of accolades (including the 2023 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Music Artist), FLETCHER’s fiercely self-aware songwriting has made her a major cultural force known for illuminating the queer experience with equal parts confidence, sensitivity, and a thrilling lack of inhibition. But not long after the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Girl Of My Dreams, the Asbury Park-bred singer/songwriter found herself deeply severed from her sense of purpose—a crisis compounded with intense health struggles that followed. After taking time away from the spotlight and reconnecting with her intuition, FLETCHER soon came up with her sophomore album In Search Of The Antidote—a selection of boldly confessional yet exhilarating pop songs detailing her journey toward self-realization.
“Last year I had to step back and let everything get quiet, and through that I started to see all the ways I was unhealed,” says FLETCHER. “I was in such a vulnerable state that I didn’t have it in me to put up any sort of façade—I just needed to create from whatever I was feeling at the time, whether it was broken or confused or devastated or hopeful. I allowed myself to operate from a space of total freedom, and within that I ended up making some of the best music of my life.”
Executive-produced by her longtime collaborator Jennifer Decilveo (a GRAMMY®-winning producer/songwriter known for her work with artists like Miley Cyrus and Hozier), In Search Of The Antidote inhabits a more mercurial and guitar-driven sound than Girl Of My Dreams—a 2022 release that entered the Billboard 200 at No. 15, fueled by chart-climbing singles like the instantly iconic “Becky’s So Hot.” “A big word for me on this album was ‘undone,’” says FLETCHER, who mostly created the LP at Lakehouse Recording Studios in her hometown. “I wanted it to feel raw and free, with lot of live bass and lush guitars and really big vocals.” Made with a stacked lineup of co-writers and producers including Jon Bellion (Justin Bieber, Halsey), Julia Michaels (Olivia Rodrigo, Maren Morris), and Aldae (Miley Cyrus, Shawn Mendes), In Search Of The Antidote also finds FLETCHER’s voice taking on a newly unfettered quality. “ “I had no choice but to sing from my heart, and let go of these ideas of absolute technical perfection that I’d had my entire life and because of that this album sounds way less tame than I’ve ever been.”
Expanding on the diary-like candor first glimpsed on her debut EP you ruined new york city for me (featuring her 2019 breakthrough hit “Undrunk”), In Search Of The Antidote took shape from a prolonged period of self-inquiry, in which FLETCHER plunged headfirst into questions of impulse, ego, identity, and fulfilment. “Over the years, I’ve looked for the antidote in so many things: women, the road, the stage, fans, spirituality and self-reflection,” she says. “Making this album was an excavation, a deep dive where I asked myself what would truly heal me, and my ultimate realization was that love is the antidote.” But while In Search Of The Antidote emerged from an effort to examine “love in all its infinite manifestations,” FLETCHER also made sure to shine a light on her more unevolved moments. “Even if it’s not the truth I want, it felt important to show the version of me that was dealing with things like fear and jealousy and insecurity,” she says. “Those feelings are just as valid, so throughout the album all those different versions of me get the mic.”
A prime introduction to the unbridled intensity of In Search Of The Antidote, “Maybe I Am” opens the album with a high-powered anthem about pushing back against the world’s perceptions. “I read some wild things about myself on the internet last year—people calling me a narcissist and a crazy bitch and so many other things,” says FLETCHER. “With ‘Maybe I Am,’ I wanted to play in that for a moment and ask myself, ‘What it would feel like to be everything the world tells me I am?’” Another song informed by the darker side of living in the limelight, the explosively fun “Doing Better” arrives as a tell-all account of the whiplash of fame. “When I put out ‘Becky’s So Hot’ it got quite a reaction, but in a lot of ways that attention didn’t feel good,” she recalls. “I wrote ‘Doing Better’ as a way to explore my ego and call myself out, but also to tell the truth about what I was feeling at the time.” Meanwhile, on “Lead Me On,” FLETCHER imbues her introspection with all the bittersweet longing of a broken-hearted love song. “For some people it might sound like a song where I’m telling someone that I’ll take whatever crumbs I can get from them,” she says. “Or it might sound like a song where I’m speaking to a better, healthier version of me that exists in the future. It’s a version that’s a higher self in some way, and I’m connecting with her through these little moments of clarity or intuition and asking her to keep guiding me down that path.” Once again proving her gift for capturing the endless complexities of love and desire, FLETCHER looks back on a past relationship on the nostalgic and soaring “Eras Of Us.” “I was lucky enough to see Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour and I ended up running into an ex of mine there, someone I’d been madly in love with,” she says. “It hit me like a wave to know that we were both there at the concert, screaming along to this artist who’s narrated so many heartbreaks of mine through the years. ‘Eras Of Us’ is my best attempt at honoring that relationship, and closing that chapter of my life.” On “Pretending,” In Search Of The Antidote slips into a woozy urgency as FLETCHER surrenders to her hyper-romantic tendencies. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Pisces, but I can meet a beautiful person in a coffee shop and suddenly start asking myself, ‘What would my life look like with you?’” she says. “‘Pretending’ is about having that person at the back of your mind who makes you keep wondering, ‘Is it going to be us that end up together one day?’” And on “Antidote,” the album closes out with a dreamlike meditation on love and salvation, lit up in ethereal textures, gauzy guitar tones, and FLETCHER’s sublimely untethered vocal work. “A girl once told me, ‘I just might be the antidote to your chaos,’ which is something that burned into my mind,” she says. “This song was written in search of my own personal antidote, but it was also written for the collective. It’s a way of asking, ‘What fuels the fire in your soul? What’s the real reason you’re here?’” For FLETCHER, the act of holding space for others to explore their inner worlds has always served as an essential part of her artistry. Not only manifested in her rapturous live show, her ardent commitment to creating community with her fans extends to such endeavors as launching her own “FLETCHER & Friends” festival in Asbury Park, as well as raising over $200K for GLAAD as part of her hugely popular Meet Her At The Bar: Pride Month Experience (a series of pop-ups in support of women-owned queer bars across the country). “Because we live in a world that’s so broken and wants so badly to disconnect us from our truth, it’s important to me to use my platform to help people experience the depths of who they really are,” she says. “I want everyone to feel all the rage and the joy and freedom and expansion, and whatever else is alive in their hearts. If I give even just one person permission to dive into that deep end, that feels like success to me.”  
In creating In Search Of The Antidote, FLETCHER kept that mission at the forefront of her mind while embracing an utter lack of compromise in all aspects of her expression. “As I was working on this album I thought a lot about how once you say you’ve healed from something, people expect you to be all love and light from that point on,” she says. “But to me true healing is an integration of all the ugly stuff and all the mess. I believe that there’s a message in the messy; there’s freedom in the chaos. This album is the most chaotic I’ve ever been, but it’s also me at my most healed.”