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If you’re on a certain side of TikTok, it’s most likely you’ve seen FLETCHER’s playful videos on repeat — maybe she’s singing about her ex’s girlfriend’s new girlfriend, starring in a steamy music video alongside Bella Thorne, or making buzzed videos in the bar bathroom with Olivia O’Brien.
Now, the queer pop star is releasing her first album, Girl of My Dreams, which she calls a “long time coming, overdue and still weird that it’s my debut album.”
“My last few bodies of work have been focused on specific situations, people and relationships — a specific relationship has been at the root of each body of work,” FLETCHER, born Cari Elise Fletcher, tells AP over Zoom from her hotel room.
“While Girl of My Dreams picks up where I left off with The S(ex) Tapes, this is a way more introspective look at the relationship with myself in a way that I’ve never really explored before, both as an artist and a songwriter, but also as a human being growing into my own skin and learning how to love who that person is,” FLETCHER reflects. “Previous EPs have been about other people and other relationships, while this is about the relationship with me.”
The Jersey native’s debut album will sound familiar to longtime EP listeners. “Guess We Lied” reuses emotional lyrics from “If You’re Gonna Lie,” and on “Better Version,” she shares regrets that her ex’s new girlfriend will get the “happy ending” she never got.
The NYU grad shot to fame with “Undrunk” in January 2019, but this is her first full-length with pop undertones and guitar-driven anthems.
“I am a pop music lover, baby, but all the songs started on acoustic guitar,” the former X Factor competitor says, describing Girl of My Dreams as having “a bit more rock influence to capture the grit and the teeth and the bite [within] the last two years of my life.”
Like most of us, FLETCHER has been on “a personal journey” over the last few years. She wanted this album to “sonically match the dreamy landscape of the spiritual journey that I’ve been on, but also a bit of the teeth that growing up can feel like,” admitting, “This album is both sonically and thematically a true testament to what it’s felt like for me.”
Girl of My Dreams gives fans an even deeper look at an already open artist — it helps that FLETCHER isn’t afraid to speak her mind on social media. The Pisces is famous for connecting with her fans on TikTok, teasing them equally with new music and fresh drama. Before the album’s release, she teased the absolute earworm of a single “Becky’s So Hot.”
The 28-year-old artist set the internet on fire with the single where she sings, “Are you in love like we were?/If I were you, I’d probably keep her/Makes me wanna hit her when I see her/’Cause Becky’s so hot in your vintage T-shirt,” referencing her ex-girlfriend Shannon Beveridge’s new girlfriend Becky Missal.
While FLETCHER was stalking Becky on Instagram (as one does), she accidentally liked a now-iconic photo of the influencer wearing a particularly memorable vintage T-shirt, which will now live in infamy. YouTuber Beveridge even dropped Becky merch to pay tribute to the T-shirt. The three women have been caught up in a TikTok back and forth, with all eyes on their videos. And now, FLETCHER’s selling merch declaring “____ is so hot,” accordingly.
“The name Becky has been used for decades. I mean, it’s a pop trope,” FLETCHER says, citing “Becky with the good hair” and “Oh, my God, Becky, look at her butt.” “For me, it’s never been about confirming identity. Becky means the other person — it means the other woman. It’s the name that perfectly describes how I felt,” she explains.
Fans quickly became obsessed with the nuggets of pop culture entertainment, making videos about their finds. “The conspiracy theory game has been so alive and well with this song. And it’s been fascinating to watch people. I feel like people are drawing murderboards on their walls, and all these little details. It’s been a wild journey so far,” she laughs. “It’s been weird. It’s been uncomfortable. I can’t escape my own TikTok algorithm, I can’t escape my own For You page,” FLETCHER says of the experience, describing it as “a bit of a whirlwind.”
“I’m fucking sick of myself,” she jokes. “I’m watching people explain theories. My straight family and friends reach out or people say, ‘I don’t know what you did to my algorithm.’”
It helps that FLETCHER has a certain sense of removal from the song, which she wrote two years ago “from a really complex space” and “the example of the conversation I want to start with my words, artistry and music.”
FLETCHER collaborated with Thorne on the “Becky’s So Hot” video, which was the plan from the start. “When I was coming up with the treatment plan for the video, all I was picturing was Bella Thorne,” she says. Luckily, the former Disney star was down to bring the “sapphic sex fantasy to life.”
“I manifested this moment,” FLETCHER says, calling the triple-threat “a dream to work with” and “a powerful, badass, strong woman,” who brought the motorcycle babe video to life in “a way that was so hot.”
[Photo by Carlos de la Reina]
“When you go through a breakup with somebody, there’s a lot of weird feelings that come up. I wanted to channel that into a song, so it’s actually something like admiration. My ex is moving on, and there’s weird pain, but there’s also an admiration. I’ve always been somebody that’s really intrigued by super-complex emotions and feelings and conversations. The ones that people want to shove into the back of a closet like, ‘Are you sure you want to talk about that?’ And I kind of do.”
Of course, her breakup songs aren’t gone forever. “I have deemed myself as the heartbreak bitch,” FLETCHER quips. She’s still getting inspiration from other “heartbreak bitches,” including Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour, Alexander 23’s “Hate Me If It Helps” and Taylor Swift, who she deems “one of the most incredible lyricists of all time.” When asked if Rodrigo and Swift would be her dream collaborators, she says, “It’s giving let’s cry ourselves to sleep — in a way where there’s so much angst and moodiness and rage channeled. You know, all the emotions wrapped up into one. It’s giving chaos.” When this writer suggests that it’s giving “cry ourselves to the club,” she exclaims, “Don’t write that, I claim that!” You heard it here first — get ready for “Cry Ourselves to the Club,” FLETCHER’s upcoming single.
If “Becky’s So Hot” has invaded your FYP, it’s likely you’ve been equally inundated with FLETCHER’s onstage flirtations with bassist Sophie Potrykus. “I met my bassist, Sophie, when she was a barista at a coffee shop and hadn’t been on a tour yet. I just connected with her so much. She was such a badass and a talented player, and I said, ‘Let’s go out on the road.’ Then we started having all these little moments onstage that have become a thing, and people want to meet Sophie at the shows.”
“They come, and there are Sophie signs in the audience. They’re like, ‘Fuck FLETCHER, I’m here for Sophie,’” she jokes about the fan reaction. “It’s always been about uplifting women and their power and their beauty. People are sexy, congrats on their hotness. It’s not that deep.”
Another equally playful TikTok moment went down when she collabed with Olivia O’Brien on “Bitch Back,” which came about organically after a few years of mutual fandom and similar social media approaches, leading to “a sense of camaraderie.”
“I love that Olivia lives her life in a way that she says whatever the fuck she wants. She’s pretty unfiltered and tells honest stories, and that’s something that I have always done as well,” she praises. “I say crazy shit. You say crazy shit. Let’s get on a song together and make this a moment,” she explains. After FLETCHER and her friends went on a trip and were playing the song nonstop, she says, “I was like, ‘Fuck, this slaps. I want to get on this and do it with Olivia.’”
FLETCHER teased fans with videos of the two dancing in a bathroom singing their song with the message, “pov: you’re the sink in a dive bar bathroom watching an extremely sober Fletcher & Olivia O’brien try to make a tiktok.”
“We’re all just mirrors of each other. That allows people to access parts of themselves,” she says about her openness online. “I’ve gotten to this point where life’s too short to give that many fucks. You are not going to make everybody happy. You can’t control how people are going to perceive you, what they’re going to think about you, what they’re going to say about you. All you can do is control your own narrative.”
[Photo by Carlos de la Reina]
This no-fucks attitude has been a long time coming. “I used to care so much and used to be really concerned and worried about what I was going to say and how I was going to say it,” she says. “I want to be conscious and mindful of the way that I speak about myself and my art. These are just my feelings, and you can take them for what they’re worth. I’m not so precious about how people perceive me or what they think anymore. This album is for me, this music is for me, my life is for me. I want to reflect that.”
Another way she’s reflecting it is with her early aughts pop-punk hair, dyed black and blond. During the interview, it’s slicked up in a bun but still reminiscent of the MySpace scene queens of the early 2000s. She describes this specific style as “the definition of an era for me.”
“I’m a Gemini moon, so there’s a constant battle between head and heart. I’m pretty indecisive. When I went to the salon, I said, ‘We’re doing both. We’re doing blond, we’re doing brunette. It’s been the definition of an era for me of not doing something everybody else does. How can I create something here that feels like it’s special to me? This album does exactly that.”
As for her headlining tour this fall, fans can expect her multi-hued hair and a good time. “We’re gonna be drunk, we’re gonna dance, we’re gonna cry, we’re gonna hook up with somebody in the bathroom,” she suggests. “The opportunities for the evening are endless.”
“I’ve always wanted to create a space for people to come and feel it all and be as they are in that moment. If you had a shit day at work and want to come and put everything that’s happening in your life aside for the next two hours and be in the moment, it’s one of the most beautiful things.”
“Just come to a FLETCHER show if you want to have one of the most unhinged nights of your life,” she promises.