The re-emergence of Fiona Apple, eight years after her last studio album, isn’t quite dolphins returning to the waterways of Venice, but an argument a minimum of for the advantages of letting a musician lie fallow. Apple has always been an unhurried artist – there are just five albums across her 24-year career, but a recent New Yorker profile documented how richly she used that point to replenish and make.
The Apple of 2020 is astonishing; as if she has returned to reinvent sound – the rhythms pleasing, but counter, and weird. On the title track she half-sings over a makeshift orchestra of kitchen implements, dog bark and cat yowl. The beat on Kick Me Under the Table features a seething back-and-forth pace; the extraordinary For Her beds double Dutch jump rope rhythms beneath a chorus of female voices.
It’s striking how intimate Apple’s voice sounds here – half-conversational, half-self-mutters, allowing every scuff, breath and feral yelp. She is at her most familiar on Ladies, hollering over a soulful backdrop, chewing her voice like tobacco, then letting it take sweet, sudden flight.
There’s considerable power in how Apple entertains numerous of those wild, inexhaustible impulses. “Don’t you, don’t you, don’t you, don’t you shush me!” she chips back on “Under the Table.” she is going to not be silenced. That’s patently clear from the beginning of Fetch the Bolt Cutters. In gnarled breaths on its opening song—feet on the bottom and mind as her might—Apple articulates exactly what she wants: “Blast the music! Bang it! Bite it! Bruise it!” It’s not pretty. It’s free.
Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Fiona Apple’s fifth record is unbound, a wild symphony of the day, an unyielding masterpiece. No music has ever sounded quite love it.