FLETCHER did an interview for Them. Photos from the photoshoot have been added to the gallery. Click “Continue Reading” to read the full interview.
In 2022, Fletcher officially became her own muse. In September, the queer singer-songwriter released her first studio album, Girl of My Dreams. While her three previous EPs drew from specific relationships and heartbreaks — including the one that eventually inspired “Becky’s So Hot,” the viral single about her ex’s new girlfriend that whipped lesbian TikTok into a frenzy — Fletcher’s newest release flipped the narrative back on herself, chronicling two years’ worth of grappling with her own self-identity and self-love.
Now, the 28-year-old pop star is bringing it all full circle with the release of the Girl of My Dreams deluxe album. The deluxe edition features four new songs, from the euphoric “Suckerpunch” to the final track, ironically a new version of “Better Version” featuring Kelsea Ballerini, which finds Fletcher transforming the folksy breakup ballad into a raw, heart-on-your-sleeves duet. It’s a fitting update for an artist whose forté has been the unapologetic sharing of intense feelings.
“I think there’s pressure in the society that we live in to just sugarcoat stuff or to make even the really difficult stuff digestible in some way,” she tells me. “The whole purpose of us even being here is to experience the full range of human emotion, and that’s all that I’ve ever wanted to share in my art, and I feel like some of the songs that are part of the deluxe version just kind of fully encompass all of that.”
Ahead of the Girl of My Dreams deluxe edition’s release, Fletcher spoke with Them about working with Ballerini, her “love-hate” relationship with social media, and her “perfect” upcoming appearance on The L Word: Generation Q season three.
Your previous releases were more about specific relationships and specific situations, while Girl of My Dreams takes a really introspective look at your relationship with yourself. How does the deluxe album expand on that?
I think the deluxe version of the album incorporates a couple songs that just felt like missing pieces for me. The song “Suckerpunch,” which I just put out, was about that really specific feeling of a love just kind of knocking the wind out of you. And it was a very specific breakup that sparked my whole Girl of My Dreams journey, and this deeper self-love. I felt so lost and hopeless and detached from myself, and it was that very breakup that inspired the need to go on this more introspective journey.
So to bring it around at the end of the album to the very beginning of that inspiration — I think that’s just kind of what life and love and inspiration are. It’s just us circling back around constantly. To have all these new pieces to the album is continuing the life of something that just happens, the more we live and learn and heal and grow.
The album includes a secret collaboration with Kelsea Ballerini on “Better Things!” How did that come about?
It honestly came about in such an organic way. Kelsea and I just sat in her car one night, and we both just played each other’s albums before they had come out. And we just went song for song.
I remember, I played her “Better Version,” and she [was] like, “That is such a special song.” And it resonated with her in such an incredible way. For two human beings to have vastly different stories and process a lot of different emotions and feelings, but to have a lot of overlap about the realizations we were coming to about moving on, and a new chapter in your life just beginning… it’s a universal emotion, despite us having very different narratives and breakup stories.
It was such an honor to collaborate with someone who’s such an incredible person, and my really good friend.
It’s nice to see more and more queer artists be open about all the messy, real emotions that go into they go through with relationships and self-perception and everything, without feeling pressured to water those feelings down — especially in mainstream pop. What do you hope your queer fans take away from these new releases?
That the story is continuously evolving, you know? That we don’t have to be so ashamed, or shy away from the really tough stuff. And I think just knowing that it’s okay for sad songs to just be sad songs, or it’s okay for things just to kind of be messy, and not have this pretty, perfect bow tied on top of the package.
We are a few months removed from the great lesbian breakup curse of 2022, and “Becky’s So Hot” going super viral on TikTok. You’re particularly good at using the app to connect with fans and get them involved with your music, but how has your relationship with TikTok changed over the past few years?
I’ve had such a complex relationship with it, just with social media in general. It’s something that I’ve always really struggled with, because I fucking hate it, and then at the same time, it’s also one of the most incredible ways to directly connect with fans, and also new people that don’t know about you, and don’t know about your music.
I love how casual it feels, and I definitely give less fucks than I have in the past. There’s an element of freedom in the sense that, yeah, this a way to have a more honest glimpse of who a person is. But at the same time, it’s still social media. It’s a highlight reel of everybody’s lives.
I’ve always done the best that I possibly could being genuine about where I’m actually at, and my mental health, and the times that I need breaks from social media. So it’s a real love-hate relationship. But at the same time, getting to connect with people in that way, I think, trumps all of that.
I have to ask about your appearance in the upcoming season of The L Word: Generation Q. What can you tease about your role?
I don’t know what would get me in trouble or not, so I’m just gonna say that I play myself on this season of The L Word, just being a part of all the sapphic chaos and drama that could exist. It couldn’t be a more perfect episode, scene, role for me to be a part of.
Generation Q has used some of your music on its soundtrack, but what’s your personal relationship with The L Word in general?
The L Word is just so iconic, and it’s been such a significant part of just queer history and television and entertainment and was just such an outlet for me when I was on my queer journey. There wasn’t enough art to consume that I connected with, and that I really related to and saw myself in. I would YouTube “girls kissing,” and it would just be scenes from The L Word popping up.
I think it was one of those spaces that changed a lot for people, just depicting so many different kinds of queer stories and queer women. For that to be something that I’m a part of now is such a beautiful full-circle moment, you know? To be a part of Generation Q is so humbling, and I couldn’t be more excited for that to be my acting debut.
The “Girl of My Dreams” tour is wrapping up. How have you been enjoying it?
It’s been so fun. I’m playing Seattle tonight. The tour’s about to end, but I am on my fourth sold-out tour this year, which is the craziest thing ever. And the very first show that I had played after the pandemic, after two and a half years, was also here in Seattle, just six months ago.
So to be ending this tour, ending this year in the place that I started it all this year after having so much performance anxiety, and being terrified of stepping on a stage again — it’s just been so magical to have so many people singing every single word back to me, and getting to see them in the flesh. It’s an experience that I don’t know that I will ever be able to put into words.