Editorial: “I Know What My Job Is: I Write the Songs, I Sing Them, I Play Them On the Piano” – Fiona Apple

By Eden Pearl

“The Idler Wheel is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do” is an album I can’t stop listening to, and each time is a different experience. The first few listens, I was confused: I didn’t know what to think of her voice, her lyrics — so hard-hitting I didn’t know what to do with them… They confused me, but in such an enigmatic, almost charming way I had to keep listening, and let me tell you, I’m glad I did. She’s not trying to be cool, she’s not hiding how she’s feeling, she yells, screams, makes guttural noises, and they may be near shocking to some at first, but that’s what she is, that’s what she does. She never yells just to tell people she’s yelling, a strength not many people can admit. In an interview, Apple said “I don’t care what people do. I don’t care how people remember my albums. I do them for my own reasons.” For anyone in the public eye, this mentality is a major gain, and one I try to live by in my own way.

Pop music can be very impersonal, but not in this case. The entire album is an expose, filled with intimate details about Fiona, her relationships, reminiscent of Regina Spektor’s “Samsung” but on a larger, more operatic scale. There’s a full spectrum of emotion and experience in all her work, especially so in “The Idler Wheel” She is so strong, and unafraid; the way her emotional maturity, anger, hope, anything, shows so vividly is so impressive. It makes me stand back It is much more complex than at first listen; it took me a bit to fully see & appreciate the world she created. Her music very well reflects her as a person, and shows sides of her that aren’t usually seen in other people’s work, which is something I really appreciate in music, as does she. “Everybody sees me as this sullen and insecure little thing. Those are just the sides of me that I feel necessary to show because no one else seems to be showing them.” And she’s right. We need confrontational artists more than anything right now.

I’ve created a playlist to give you a taste of the Fiona Apple experience. I’ve started it off with something tame, but you will soon hear what I’ve been talking about.

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