On May 26, 2015 Nashville-by-way-of-Atlanta singer-songwriter Joshua Fletcher
will release Ready, Aim
, a ten-track collection of honest, beautiful pop songs produced by The Damnwells' Alex Dezen, on Portland, Oregon-based In Music We Trust Records.
"Alex Dezen is one of my favorite songwriters," comments Fletcher on his happiness over Dezen producing Ready, Aim. "The Damnwells have been one of my favorite bands for close to ten years, and I never imagined that he would think enough of my songs to do this for me."
Joshua Fletcher’s songs are about relationships. They’re about our loneliest hours; surrounded by the buzz of a city or alone in an empty house. They are about the moments we share with the ones we love, about turning something brief into something eternal. These are songs written from an inside-out perspective. Songs that breathe and grow and shift and change as we do. These songs will be the world’s introduction to Joshua Fletcher.
"We made something about a hundred times better than what I heard," says Fletcher on the results of Ready, Aim, when asked if the record came out the way he heard it in his head. "Alex added so much to my ideas and this thing morphed into something so much bigger than I imagined it could ever be."
Elaborating, Fletcher is quick to state, "The way it sounds actually surprised me. All I've ever known is pretty straightforward americana/folk. So when Alex and I got together and created this more modern sounding thing, it caught me a little off guard. I envisioned making basically the same album I'd made twice before and thank God it didn't happen that way."
Besides production duties, Dezen also appears on nearly every song, along with an impressive cast of musicians including singer/songwriter Madi Diaz and Whynot Jansveld (of Mosco Rosco).
The result is a record Fletcher describes as "A little dark, a little spooky, a little groovy."
Comparisons to Ryan Adams and Counting Crows have popped up previously, which Fletcher doesn't mind at all but, as he puts it, "hopefully we ventured far enough away from that this time that we get some new ones. I think it actually hits pretty close to some of the new Cat Power and Sarah Jaffe stuff, which I love. I think it's a pretty great combination of old and new sounds."
Writing the majority of the songs alone at his house, on an acoustic guitar, some came to him quickly, while others took months to flesh out. Prior to recording, though, Fletcher played the songs out live, just the way he wrote them, with just his voice and a guitar. This allowed him to firm up the skeleton of each song, while allowing them to grow and find their own voice in the studio.
"For the most part, the skeletons of the songs are unchanged, so the songs are both the same and extremely different," he recalls. "We went with a lot of strange instrumentations to fill out the sound on most of the songs. We created sounds by combining a few different instruments and having them play the exact same part. The result is something that doesn't come completely out of left field, but is just weird enough to pique your interest."
A record about self-discovery and self-doubt, Fletcher says that, "The album wasn't written with any theme in mind, but over the past few years I've gotten away from writing to blame others and turned my gaze inward. Most of the songs that sound like they're about someone else are really about me."
Using the music to set the tone for the lyrics, Ready, Aim takes full advantage of the highs and lows, the peaks and valleys, to set the mood; it is sparse and full where it needs to be.
When asked to pick the album highlights, Fletcher is hard pressed to do so, as he's proud of the entire album. But, if forced to pick, he says, "'Eye and the Storm' and 'Wheels' stand out to me. I especially love what we did with 'Wheels.'"
"The Eye and The Storm" is a highlight for him because of the chorus, where he sings, "We are the roses and the thorns / the nights and the mornings / we're the eye and the storm / and we keep rolling."
"I wrote that line, and most of that song, as a gift for a family member who was getting married. But it came from a place of trying to understand what makes us whole. I think we concentrate too much on what we're not, but there is a real peace that comes from understanding and building on what we are."
Recorded over a month in Silverlake, Los Angeles By Dezen, Fletcher recalls his struggle to surrender control and allow Dezen to lead the way. Though, in the end, he's glad he did.
"It was the longest I've ever spent on a recording project, but it was also the most intense process. It was my first time working with a producer, and that process was different than any I'd ever been a part of," he says. "I'm pretty reluctant to give up full creative control, so it took some work from Alex's end. In the end, he won most, if not all, of the battles because I ultimately figured out that he knew better than me. We spent the majority of the time piecing together some pretty ordinary sounds and turning them into something familiar, but odd."
Now, with a release date set, all Fletcher wants to do is get out and play these songs for people and expose them to the record - and hopefully they enjoy it as much as he enjoyed making it.
"I think we made something worth sharing, and I'd like to have the opportunity to share it with as many people as possible," he says excitedly.
Follow and connect:
Source: Press Release