Cari Fletcher was only seventeen when she tried out for the X Factor in 2011. She caught the judges’ attention with her powerful performance of Heart’s “Alone.” After receiving four affirmative votes from the judges and making it through to boot camp, the young musician found herself placed into a group with three other girls. Like most groups formed on the X Factor, the girls of Lakoda Rayne struggled to blend their distinct voices into a cohesive whole and win over the audience.
Although they failed to win the competition, this was not the end for Cari Fletcher. Now, she is gearing up for her return to music, and she’s a few years older and infinitely wiser this time around. The musician has ditched her first name, preferring to go simply by Fletcher. With her simple name comes an equally stripped back aesthetic, all of which has been perfectly supported by her moody debut solo single “Over My Head.”
“Over My Head” is a love song, but it is far from stereotypical. This is not a song about the picture perfect romance complete with rainbows, butterflies, and a happily ever after; if anything, the track is a reluctant love song that compares love to losing control of your emotions. Fletcher likens her relationship to craving a fix from a drug, wondering whether her lover’s touch will heal or kill her as she falls under his spell.
Fletcher plays her role perfectly, spiraling deeper and deeper into the relationship as the song progresses until she simply loses herself in the mix and begs for a hit from her lover; however, as a songstress, she maintains complete control over her audience. The production remains fairly static throughout the entirety of the track, but Fletcher’s vocal performance entrances you with its passion and power. In fact, her voice elicits an uncontrollable attraction that is similar to the one she experiences in her relationship.
Vocally, “Over My Head” has abandoned any dramatic runs or riffs in favor of a more straightforward delivery that relies on pacing and simple emotion. Fletcher’s pace picks up on the pre-chorus, flying even faster as she moves into the true chorus in a way that represents her losing control and desperately falling into the calm release associated with the relationship.
The raw production brings Fletcher’s primal emotions to the forefront of the track. Behind her sweet vocals, a chilly chorus of voices echo over a subtle bass line and dramatic taiko drums. The production also symbolizes Fletcher’s submission to the relationship, as the organic production on the verses gives way to a lighter feel on the chorus. As Fletcher moves into the chorus, a delicate string comes into the mix and her voice floats over the ethereal music. As Fletcher accepts her relationship, you can feel her worries floating away as she relaxes into her lover’s grasp.
One thing that is clear is that Fletcher has a hit on her hands with “Over My Head.” The track is innovative and gorgeous with its organic production and silky sweet vocals. It may be far from typical, but it is all the entrancing for its innovation. Its creative albeit dark subject manner provides an interesting glimpse into the addictive qualities of love. The song is a study of the balance that exists in a relationship and the struggle some people face when they need to let go of control in order to fall into love. It is chill-inducing, in a very good way and is the perfect debut from a clearly talented songstress. One thing that is clear is that I am over my head in love with this track!
Hopefully Fletcher has more things planned for 2015, because “Over My Head” is bound to leave people wanting more from the soulful musician. Until then, check out “Over My Head” on Fletcher’s YouTube or SoundCloud. Take a listen and let us know what you think about Fletcher’s big debut.