Toxic relationships have long been at the core of artistic masters, using the chaos of our lives as a canvas for stark narratives. These narratives often bleed into our music, creating soul-soothing songs that reflect the human condition. CP Fletcher’s eclectic musical collective A Permanent Shadow is no stranger to this artistic endeavor. Their latest single “Number One Fan” draws heavily on these themes, reimagining alternative pop for a new era. This heartbreaking track delves into the intricacies of love, loyalty, and regret, as well as the shadows that come with toxic relationships. The result is an emotional celebration of love and the resilience of the human spirit.
The idea for “Number One Fan” came from a deep thought: “Can you truly fix the past, the pieces of time that are stuck in time?” This musing formed the foundation of “Number 1 Fan,” a pop-influenced tune that mixes modernity with a retro-tinged nod to 80s electronic music. Throughout the creation of the new single, Fletcher drew inspiration from Joni Mitchell’s powerful songwriting, particularly her classic tune, “Big Yellow Taxi”. Her timeless classic inspired him to explore the depths of personal relationships. While Fletcher often writes about the ocean, self help, religion, and corporate life, “Number One fan” pushed him to explore new territory.
Upon examining the various components of A Permanent Shadow, it is evident that the band does not conform to the typical genre. Instead, it is a group of musicians who are constantly evolving, with Fletcher at the forefront. Fletcher began as a drummer in a number of bands that did not achieve success. Following David Bowie’s untimely death, the innovative musician decided to form his own band and take control of the microphone.
Fletcher’s first foray into the spotlight was as a lead singer for the Lou Reed tribute project, The Magicians and Loss Orchestra, where his admiration for the renowned New York singer was evident. This tribute influence was reflected in A Permanent Shadow’sown identity, as evidenced by the cover of Reed’s single, “Sword of Damocles”, which is featured on the band’s self-titled debut album.
The musicians and producers who work with Fletcher are essential parts of the band’s sound. Two musicians have always been a part of the project: Albert Català (a classically-trained pianist) who helps Fletcher refine demos, and Valentí Nieto (a top-notch producer) who adds the finishing touches. They’ve been a part of every A Permanent Shadow release, from 2019’s Songs of Loss to 2022’s Humdrum, the UnderCover EP, and now “Number One Fan.”
A Permanent Shadow, under the watchful eye of CP Fletcher, has transitioned from a pop-rock ensemble to a collective capable of investigating emotional depth and thematic complexity. Their latest release, “Number One Fan,” stands as a testament to this transformation. “Number One Fan” is not just a song; it’s a melancholic saga spun against the backdrop of modern pop and the nostalgic aura of 80s electronic music. And as the final chords fade, we are left contemplating the raw power and pervasive influence of such relationships in our own lives.