‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters,’ the First New Album from Fiona Apple Since 2012, Couldn’t Have Come at a More Perfect Time

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Fetch the Bolt Cutters, the new album from Fiona Apple and her first since 2012’s The Idler Wheel … begins with a song that perfectly captures the allure of a Fiona Apple record. A gorgeous piano lead pairs with her vocals as she delivers lines such as:

I move with the trees in the breeze
I know that time is elastic
And I know when I go
All my particles disband and disperse
And I’ll be back in the pulse


While I’m in this body
I want somebody to want
And I want what I want and I want
You to love me

These verses give the track a vulnerability that’s only outdone by the song’s final few seconds, Apple squealing along with the manic piano plucks in a frenzy.

It’s a perfect introduction to her fifth studio album, which was released on Friday after much anticipation. It was also delivered in a fitting fashion for the cherished songwriter/vocalist, who has maintained a strong hold over her own music throughout the years.

No promo single, no music video, just a full album released in an era that devalues them over the hit single.

Here’s another provocative verse, this one from the title track:

I grew up in the shoes they told me I could fill
When they came around I would stand real still
A girl can roll her eyes at me and kill
I got the idea I wasn’t real
I thought being blacklisted would be grist for the mill
Until I realized I’m still here

As is the case with all Fiona Apple records, Fetch The Bolt Cutters has been in the works for quite a while, before various delays and creative holdups put it on pause. In fact, in September 2019 she didn’t seem to know when exactly it would be ready — as she told Vulture:

I mean, I don’t know! It’s hard to say. I was supposed to be done a million years ago. And I go off and I take too long making stuff. I’m hoping for early 2020. I think.

But it’s here, and Fetch The Bolt Cutters could not be timed more perfectly. The anxieties and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic makes everybody feel on edge right now, so the catharsis of hearing another new set of songs from Fiona Apple feels like something of a blessing at this precise moment in time.

Put on Fetch the Bolt Cutters and spend an hour or so digesting this record — then start it over again, as there are layers to unpack with this one. Welcome back, Fiona Apple.

Stream the record below, via Spotify:


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