AOTY 2023
Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Jul 15, 2020 (updated May 1, 2021)
fiona dropped her first album in approximately a decade while everyone was in international quarantine. she metaphysically transported the world to be in her place: their own rooms (or confined spaces) while she simultaneously transports the listener to the same place via music. it’s one thing to be quarantined, it’s another to have the mindset.

for a general thematic backstory of ‘fetch the bolt cutters’: a character such as fiona is locked in a dark room for a long time. whether that room be for a tv show fiona helped soundtrack, her house, or her own mind. the character has previously harmful dogs free her from said dark room.

now, freed, fiona possesses the things that were her old demons: harming materials (cutters, if you will) in the past (@ “valentine” ‘12).

fiona Apple with another oddball. at thirteen songs, ‘newspaper’ stands as the centerpiece of this percussive record. once that song clicks; the rest is irresistibly genius.

fiona is so goddess; she creates ‘fetch the bolt cutters’ to serve against sexism and patriarchy.

fiona ascended, and she knows that: she’s the only musician i know that’s better without job brion. she has piano chops, iconic phrasing, and she delves into feminism extra so that’s a bonus.

sometimes i was like ?? fiona you’re so smart, but why did you say the same phrase 8 times in a row when you could’ve had 8 phrases ?... you know ? cuz fiona knows. it adds up to something crazy by the end of a song: mathbreaking harmonies that someone as ascended as fiona can create.

additionally. the new, fresh representation of old villains (sexist dogs) are literally featured throughout the album, as fiona’s actual dogs fill the album with barking light inside of darkness.

*a delving into how fiona Apple released another flawless album*

‘bolt cutters’ could’ve made record indie sales from the hype alone, yet fiona doesn’t care about money, sales, OR the fact that (when she received deserved attention from a march ‘20 new yorker profile) sony wanted her to wait extra months to release (for stupid record company reasons, and money). instead, fiona released when the right time presented itself (april’s international lockdown).

in short: fiona Apple doesn’t even try to relate to the world, it’s the entire world that relates to her.

she often adds some hidden minutiae and such to play on our minds and musical expectation.

so yeah, thx for attending the hourly music rave.

I love that you talked about the importance of the timing of this release, the backstory of an album is often overlooked, and it’s pretty clear that bolt cutters backstory like you said contributed to its success, very informative, much appreciated x
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