In his first EP, True stories, Jordan Fletcher explores his experience as husband, father and artist through a reflective lens. The four tracks take listeners through different phases of Fletcher’s life as he reminisces with startling openness and honesty. From falling in love with a girl as a teenager and marrying her to starting a new chapter as a father, Fletcher is opening up about his life and holding nothing back.
His goal in writing the songs of True stories was to make them as authentic as possible. “The point of these songs was just to take them and make it feel like you were putting on a VCR of my childhood,” Fletcher told American Songwriter. “Instead of saying, ‘What’s a good metaphor for what we’re trying to say here?’ or ‘What did this character do next?’ It was just me thinking, ‘I’ll tell you what happened, and let’s make it rhyme.’ »
Fletcher grew up in Florida but moved to Nashville to launch his music career. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Fletcher thought he should back off. He wanted to do something special before he left. As he listened to 27 songs he had written over the past year, all of the emotions he felt while writing came flooding back. It was then that he knew he wanted to do some sort of autobiography.
However, the music wasn’t the only reason. At the time, his wife was pregnant with their first child. Having lost his father at the age of 11, Fletcher wanted his son to know all about his life and be able to share it with him through music.
“You get a little weird in your head when you have a kid. I want him to have answers if anything were to happen to me. So I was trying to let it be known as quickly as possible before I had to leave,” he recalls. “Even though the songs can connect with other people, it was incredibly cathartic for me to do that.”
While the songs on True stories create their own narrative, the EP is actually a precursor to a full album that Fletcher is working on. Stylistically and thematically, Fletcher says the EP gives listeners a taste of what the album will sound like. It will most likely be released later this year, revealing more of Fletcher’s inner world and fleshing out the autobiography.
The process of creating this project helped Fletcher grow as an artist in many ways. “I had the opportunity to refine my voice as an artist and writer. That’s the biggest part of it all,” he says. “These songs are just an amazing marriage of a lot of talented people and everything God was trying to get across my desk.”
For Fletcher, songwriting is a spiritual experience. He compared it to learning a language – you have to know the basics before you can perform it properly. Once you know the language, you travel to the country where it is spoken. Once you know how to write songs, you go to Nashville.
“You have to write a bunch of songs,” he says. “Some songs are good, some are not good. You try to write songs, you fail at songwriting, you embarrass yourself, you have hits. You have to do all of that to get to the point where you have something worth saying and that you can say it the right way.
Each song on the project was co-written with one or two other people, which made the process even more special for Fletcher. “I feel like Nashville has the best songwriters in the world,” he tells us admiringly. “I’m grateful to be able to learn from them, to work with them and to be able to do all of that is a blessing in itself.”
He also notes that everyone he wrote with understood how personal each song was to him. “We all respect each other, so there’s always a great open space. I haven’t really met anyone I was hesitating with yet,” Fletcher says. “Sometimes it’s easier to be open to someone you don’t know very well than to be open to someone you know. It’s almost like a little therapy session.
However, Fletcher admits it’s a totally different, and sometimes difficult, experience to share the songs with people he knows. “The others, they only know what I told them. But everyone who grew up with me and went through these things with me, it means something more to them in many ways,” he explains.
The songs have also meant a lot to his fans, who connect with them in ways Fletcher never expected. “The coolest thing is when I get emails or DMs or texts that take it and express how they fit into the song,” he says.
“Firebird,” in particular, resonated with many listeners. “I didn’t think about it because the song is so specific and not many people have that car,” he laughs. “But I can’t tell you how many times people have said ‘Hey, that reminds me of my dad’s ’86 Sierra’ or ‘It’s like my uncle’s Bronco’.”
Ultimately, that connection is what matters most to Fletcher. “That’s really the only thing that lasts anyway: the effect that music has on people,” he says.
When asked if he had a favorite song from True stories, Fletcher took a long, smiling pause before giving an answer. He can’t reveal his favorite song yet but promises it will be on the latest album.
Fletcher is working on both the album and a tour, so fans have a lot to look forward to going forward. In the meantime, you can stream True stories HERE.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Ray