In his first EP, True Stories, Jordan Fletcher explores his experience as a husband, father, and artist through a reflective lens. The four tracks take listeners through different phases of Fletcher’s life as he reminisces with striking 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 opens up about his life and holds nothing back.
His goal while writing the songs for True Stories was to make them as authentic as possible. “The point of these songs was just to take it and make it feel like you were putting in a VCR of my childhood,” Fletcher tells American Songwriter. “Instead of being like, ‘What’s a good metaphor for what we’re trying to say here?’ or ‘What did this character do next?’ It was just me being like ‘I’ll tell you what happened, and let’s just 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 would need to move back. He wanted to make something special before leaving. Listening to 27 songs he had written over the last year, all the emotions he felt while writing came flooding back. It was then that he knew he wanted to make some kind of autobiography.
However, the music wasn’t the only reason. At the time, his wife was pregnant with their first child. Having lost his dad when he was 11 years old, Fletcher wanted his son to know all about his life, and be able to share it with him through music.
“You get kind of weird in your head when you have a kid. I want him to have answers if something ever were to happen to me. So I was trying to get that out there as quick as I could before I had to leave,” he recalls. “As much as the songs may connect with other people, it was incredibly cathartic for me to do this.”
While the songs on True Stories create a narrative of their own, the EP is actually a precursor to a full album that Fletcher is working on. Stylistically and topic-wise, Fletcher says that the EP gives listeners a taste of what the album will sound like. It will most likely come out later this year, revealing more of Fletcher’s inner world and fleshing out the autobiography.
The process of creating this project has helped Fletcher grow as an artist in many ways. “I’ve been given the opportunity to really hone in my voice as an artist and a writer. That’s the biggest part of this whole thing,” he says. “These songs are just an incredible marriage of a lot of talented people and whatever 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 execute it properly. Once you know the language, you go to the country where it’s spoken. Once you know how to write songs, you go to Nashville.
“You need to write a bunch of songs,” he says. “Some songs that are good, some that are no good. You try at writing songs, you fail at writing songs, you embarrass yourself, you have successes. You have to do that whole thing to get to the point where you’ve got something worth saying and can say it the right way.”
Every song in 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 in awe. “I’m thankful to get to learn from them, work with them, and just get to do that whole thing is a blessing in itself.”
Fletcher added that he enjoyed working with Dave Cobb, the producer of the EP and forthcoming album. “We spent a lot of time writing and recording together. He was really cool to work with,” Fletcher says.
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 super open space. I’ve yet to really encounter somebody that I was hesitant with,” Fletcher says. “Sometimes it’s easier to be open to somebody you don’t know that well than it is to be open with somebody that you do know. It’s almost like a little therapy session.”
However, Fletcher admits that it is a totally different, and sometimes difficult, experience to share the songs with people he knows. “Anybody else, they only know what I told them. But everyone who grew up with me and experienced those things with me, it means something more to them in a lot of ways,” he explains.
The songs have also meant a lot to his fans, who connect with them in ways that Fletcher never expected. “The coolest thing is when I get emails or DM’s or texts that take it and express how they inserted themselves in the song,” he says.
“Firebird,” in particular, has resonated with many listeners. “I didn’t think about it because the song is so specific and not a lot of people have this car,” he laughs. “But I can’t tell you how many times people have been like ‘Hey, that reminds me of my dad’s ‘86 Sierra’ or ‘That’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 music has on people,” he says.
When asked if he has a favorite song from True Stories, Fletcher took a long pause, smiling, before giving an answer. He can’t reveal his favorite song yet but promises it will be on the final album.
Fletcher is working on both the album and a tour, so fans have much to anticipate going forward. In the meantime, you can stream True Stories HERE.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Ray