7 albums, 6 tracks

Born in Mar 19, 1994

Alternative/Indie Rock



Apr 12, 2019

Looking For Consummate Pop From A Singer You May Have Totally Missed? Check For ‘Finding Fletcher -EP’

Written by @taylor / 8 mins read

In the vein of mid career Katy Perry, Sia at her height, and Alessia Cara at her debut popularity, I find the music of FLETCHER to be pretty well produced and the singer’s voice to be up there with such a group of contemporaries. Granted, here she doesn’t hit all of the more unique notes Sia can hit, or reach Demi Lovato’s more soulful deliveries for that matter, but in the case of showing up and showing out, I think she totally succeeds on Finding Fletcher – EP, especially since this is a debut that contains arrangements comparable with Sia’s big beat tribal drum aesthetic, and melodies that are so much more fascinating than Lovato’s to my ears. I think a few of these songs could have been hit Katy Perry melodies to sing over, and though Alessia Cara infused more of a downtempo introspective R&B with her debut work, the epic motivational sound herein is almost identical. This album came out in late 2016, so - right about the time of other similar explosive works, and upon listening to it several times, I am pretty surprised that there wasn’t a ton of fanfare to my knowledge, and I haven’t heard much about her in all this time. There are a ton of Pop artists competing for the same sound, so perhaps she will go another round soon, yet for a current playlist, I find that Finding Fletcher – EP is very deserving of attention.

First Track “Princess” Is Motivational Girl Pop, Thus, Susceptible To Cliché

Thankfully, FLETCHER doesn’t annoy me anywhere on the album – and that is a type of success in my book when it comes to Pop music. I notice a few trends and tricks popping up in her music, but she tends to not overdo such elements – and rather, she knows how to implement such elements correctly. In “Princess”, the arrangement contains the percussive acoustic section, a string section build to an explosive hook, hard requisite hits and references to diamonds in the sky or some such boundlessly charming compliment. Pretty decent song, though I suppose after going through the motions a few times, I can hear ‘too definitively’ where every measure predictably transitions. The motivational quality of the subject matter is pretty strong, though I wish there was a tiny bit more focus on what the issue specifically is, instead of seemingly every woman’s issue under the sun. The text concerns itself primarily with the world of a little girl being full of storybook promises that unfortunately don’t turn out exactly as planned as she enters womanhood, yet implores the female audience member to stand on her own two feet when harsh reality sets in; “why's there always gotta be a hero / what if Cinderella had to save herself / it's not like we don't need a little help / but maybe it's a good thing to go through a little hell.” I do appreciate the last line there, which recognizes that pain and conflict is necessary to grow – so don’t crumble at the first sign of trouble, whatever you do. Alas, I do tire of every fricken motivational song talking about ‘wearing your scars proudly’ and ‘making sure when you cry not to let your crown fall.’ The latter emphasis on royalty, even if it mirrors the title of the song, just doesn’t sit right with me – crowns are made to be worn by leaders who don’t wear their emotions on their sleeves – period. Some new terminologies for strength and power are more than welcome in this cliché ridden genre. Yet, stacked up against a similar Katy Perry power ballad, this song absolutely will motivate people who crave the same scripts espousing positive reinforcement.

Rallying Calls Via Percussion Are Frequent On This EP, Though The Context Of The Call Is Less Inspired

With late drum hits that mix tribal and Reggae Fusion rhythm, a clear fight song rages on with “Warpaint”, yet for every big moment, there are quiet moments which within their measures find some creative ways of mixing things up. I do tire of the same acoustic measures recorded at a low level, and then the overloud slam of a hook, and then the whole cycle getting repeated over and over until the track has said it’s piece. Yet on “Warpaint”, after the effective hooks here, the beat switches to a digital, tenderly pulsing melody, then moments later mixes quiet reggae drum hits, followed afterward with echoing cracking rhythms, and finally a sweet symphonic passage before a return to the huge chorus line “bring the big guns out, shoot now / I'll make the drums beat harder for you / red on the ground, bleed out / I'll rub the colors on my face to prove.” The lyrical context on this song contains lots of military references, and more specifically, mixes industrialized warfare with antiquated environments, painting the picture of a fantastical battle and encouraging what at first I felt may be female warriors fighting to not give up any ground to the enemy. Upon closer inspection of the lyrical message, I found out that the person FLETCHER is motivating here is actually a lover, exemplified by the lines “cause this is our fight; love is not the enemy / everything that you do gives me some power, makes me feel alive / so take the gun, I'm your Bonnie, you can be my Clyde.” I’ve noticed in the last 5 to 10 years that many songs in the Pop and EDM-lite pantheon paint scenarios such as these, and I feel the subject matter must entice and engage the gamer community especially. I personally don’t respond to such words – but I don’t mind analyzing the lines and trying to put them in a larger context. I suppose it is a worthy alternative to talking about the same basic interpretation of love, as has happened since the dawn of music, right? Still, while FLETCHER’S descriptions are vivid and have their original moments, the ‘falling in love on a battlefield’ idea is not my favorite concept.

The EP Seems To Switch Gears To A Celtic Beat – But I Am Interested In What New Rhythm FLETCHER Brings Next

“Over My Head” is one of my favorite songs on the album because, though it follows some generic patterns, it also infuses some refreshing notes throughout, which sound especially delightful because the right choice of synth flutes breath in and out while synth strings bend and bow and I am swept up in a new age, crashing Celtic beat, made modern by some of the most soulful vocals on the album from FLETCHER – reminding me that she has one very captivating voice. “Avalanche” is vocally high pitched and similarly Celtic-folky, but by the time the hook arrives, I am disappointed by the basic-ness of its melodic trajectory – which is a shame, because the buildup is pretty exciting, with ethereal overdubbing and beautiful reverb. On “Wasted Youth” I am hearing again lots of ethereal vocal siren moments and crashing hits – an almost symphonic drum style, and while it sounds beautiful, it is more of the same. The lyrics explore the trope of nothing mattering but young love, and the hook at least is very attractively sung; “It's my life / if I'm gonna waste it / gonna waste it on you.” The album Finding Fletcher – EP makes me realize that I have found some decent work in the deft hands of an immensely talented artists, though the music does not push any new boundaries, as I find it sounds like, well, anyone else’s work. Lyrical content paints the same storied cliches, so I don’t think I’m missing any earth shattering subtext there. The album is a checklist of what is expected circa 2016 Pop, but tends to lean towards giddy echoing ethereal Irish music surprisingly for many a song – though the artist herself is from New Jersey. So I found her stylistic leanings I suppose. “Live Young Die Free” follows too closely to the vocal delivery and energy of Ellie Goulding’s chorus on “Burn” for me to say – ‘yes’, that’s a memorable track. It would seem with this EP she has provided the flavors needed to build the fan base and roll the success into the next venture. Where is she now? While so many things could have happened, from FLETCHER wanting to spend a few years developing her craft (Rita Ora did that), to the ad campaign being too low key, to the possibility that her music didn’t ‘sound’ distinct enough amidst the competition, I still am confident that if she wants to strike it big moving forward, she still could – being in her mid twenties still and clearly knowing how to read the mainstream. Her next work will probably sound great – I just hope that she can bring a bit more uniqueness in, even if her genre is typically quite homogeneous in sound.

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Cari Elise Fletcher (born March 19, 1994), known mononymously as Fletcher (stylized in all caps), is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She made her acting debut in 2010 as the lead role of Katie Howard in the film How Katie Howard Found Herself. She auditioned for the first season of The X Factor (U.S.), and competed as a part of the group Lakoda Rayne.
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