Fletcher just keeps the content coming! On the original release date for her EP (before she leaked it), she decided to give us maybe the most emotional piece of the puzzle in the new video for "Sex with my Ex". The video features Shannon Beveridge, Fletcher's ex girlfriend and a popular YouTuber, who has been behind the camera for each one of the new music video releases. All the songs on the EP are about her (you can read more about their creative process and time in quarantine together here), and she's helped create The S(ex) Tapes universe. Now, we get to see the relationship Fletcher sings about in real time, and you get to see them set it free.
The most striking part of the "Sex With My Ex" video is that it's bursting with love. You can tell just how much they care about each other, and intercut with scenes of New York City, they give us everything. The silly moments, wearing glasses and sharing wine. They let these memories linger in longer cuts than any of the previous videos. You don't feel like you're on the tilt-a-whirl this time, you're trying to cling to every last good moment. She seems so much more open and vulnerable. Unlike the other videos, the point isn't owning your sexuality and being good with your body. This is all emotion all the time, even though it's the song most explicitly dealing in some amount of sex. And she's letting us watch the last bits of her former relationship that she hasn't been able to get over. I love that it looks filmed on camcorders and phones. It feels delicate. Fleeting. Most of it looks like raw footage that they took in random cabs and on trips and just through life together- making goofy faces and hanging out. The love jumps through the screen so much that it leaves the viewer wondering if they have to break up at the end like we all know they ultimately do.
No one lets you watch their love story dissolve in real time. But Fletcher lets you have it all. Shannon's identity, the vulnerable moments, and the full knowledge that she hasn't healed and moved on. There's such a power in that.
That dreamy world gets shattered, though. We get the closing scene where all the end cards are already popping up, and they're standing in the garden from "Shh... Don't Say It" talking to the camera. Shannon says, "And now we're breaking up." And Fletcher interjects, "Don't say it like that." Then Shannon smirks and says, "You're right. We were broken up the whole time." Fletcher picks at her lips and agrees, "Right". She continues, "Quarantine's ending." Shannon turns to look away from the camera and there's a close up of how glassy her eyes are. "Goodbye forever," Fletcher concludes, pressing her face further into Shannon's hair. It mirrors the song, but she doesn't add "until next time" like in the song. There's a ghostly weight of finality that lingers in the air as they give one last look to the camera. It's the only bit in color, dividing the present moment from the sweetness of the before, and it's a stark end to a video that bursts with affection and love.
"Sex With My Ex" has slowly become one of my favorite songs off "The S(ex) Tapes", which I really wasn't expecting. It's packed with so many FEELINGS, and that's the point of this album. In the livestream, before the video dropped, Fletcher got teary thinking about its release, and it was a stark reminder of what she keeps repeating through the press and promo for the EP. These feelings are raw and real and current. She hasn't had the time to sit and process and reflect and come up with some profound thing to say about this break up. It's fascinating to see an artist choose to show their festering wounds in real time instead of with a few months or year of to lessen the sting of the reality. I feel like its important to honor her openness and her dedication to making her audience feel less alone in their messiness. Most artists give you their songs and their words, but they hold back something- the details and the reals stories and the real people behind the songs to protect themselves and their hearts. It's why so many of us are so in love with this. No one's really done this before to this degree.
Fletcher has talked about how she still has so much more for us in the next week or two, and the "Sex with my Ex" video reminded me why I follow Fletcher, and it has gotten me so excited for whatever she'll come up with next. Besides Halsey, Fletcher is probably the most talked about person on this blog, so I'll link all my articles, the video, and my reaction video to The S(ex) Tapes from last week. Let me know in the comments if you loved this one as much as I did and tweet me about it (@mslaurenbrice) cause I am so not over this!!!
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