Fletcher Magellan's Became A Stranger possesses astounding lyrical and emotional depth. By my third time through the album I caught myself forgetting that Magellan is just the alter ego of my friend Cody Fitzpatrick. Became A Stranger's storytelling is earnest and authentic, compelling even the most jaded listener to open up and hear a story.
When Fletcher Magellan took the stage as last weekend's CD release show, I didn't have much for expectations. I hadn't listened to their music before, but I wanted to support my friends and knew that my wife enjoys folk and country.
When Cody first took the stage in character as 'Fletch, he carried a battered suitcase. Without drama or announcement, he quietly opened the case and removed a stool, two barbells, and a kick drum pedal.
My interest was piqued.
He assembled the stool, put the pedal on the ground, placed the barbells back in the case, and set the case down in front of the stool.
Without uttering a word or playing a note he'd already told volumes of Magellan's story, laying the groundwork for tales of the life of a traveling singer in the form of a rudimentary kick drum.
Each track on Became A Stranger expands on this character, adding dimensions of love, loss, regret, and reflection to paint a portrait of a man I can scarcely describe but feel I know like a lifelong friend.
My favorite moments come in the love song Olive Green, which tells the story of a 17 year old boy who falls in love with a blacksmith several years his senior. Hearing the final chorus change from
The sparks weren't flying from the anvil, they were coming from my heart
The sparks weren't flying from the anvil, they were coming from our hearts
Makes me smile every time I hear it. It will make you smile too.
You should listen to this album.
Fletcher Magellan's blog