|First posted 1/12/2021.|
Fetch the Bolt Cutters
Released: April 17, 2020
Peak: 4 US, 33 UK, 10 CN, 13 AU
Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)
Genre: alternative rock
Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs written by Fiona Apple.
Total Running Time: 51:49
4.639 out of 5.00 (average of 28 ratings)
Quotable: “A dense and richly poetic masterpiece from one of music’s best modern storytellers.” – Patrick Ryan, USA Today
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
Fiona Apple’s fifth album came out eight years after her previous effort, 2012’s The Idler Wheel. She started work on it in February 2015, writing and rehearsing at her home studio in Venice Beach. After attempts to record in Texas and Los Angeles, she and her bandmates returned to her home studio, where most of the album was recorded using GarageBand. She recorded “long, often improvised takes with unconventional percussive sounds,” WK the latter of which included dog bones and a metal butterfly. WK She attributed the focus on percussion to a childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder with walking rhythmically to a strict tempo. WK
Lyrically, she explored her “complex relationships with other women and other personal experiences, including bullying and sexual assault.” WK within songs that rejected pop music’s traditional verse-chorus structure. WK The title of the album and its theme comes from a quotation from the British-Irish TV crime drama series The Fall: “Fetch the fucking bolt cutters and get yourself out of the situation you’re in.” WK She summed up the album’s theme as being about “breaking out of whatever prison you’ve allowed yourself to live in.” WK
The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. The single, Shameika, was nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance. The song, named after a girl who went to middle school with Apple, was based on an experience in which Apple was rejected by a group of popular girls. Shameika approached Apple, saying “Why are you trying to sit with those girls? You have potential.” WK
Cosmonauts dated back to 2012. The song was written for the film This Is 40. Director Judd Apatow wanted a song exploring a life-long romantic relationship. She struggled with the concept, unsure if she wanted to be with anyone forever. Because of that, she came up with the interpretation that “It’s going to be you and me in this little vessel by ourselves in space, except it’s going to weigh a lot more, and you’re going to really get on my nerves.” WK
Other songs included I Want You to Love Me, which was originally about a hypothetical lover but ended up influenced by Apple’s relationship with writer Jonathan Ames. Drumset was written after she broke up with him. Newspaper and Ladies explore how women shouldn’t let men pit them against each other. On For Her, Apple explored a man’s abuse of a woman, based on a friend’s experiences. The Boston Globe’s Maura Johnston praised the album for its “matter-of-fact depictions of everyday brutality.” WK
Under the Table was inspired by a dinner party where people were bragging and she called someone out for an offensive comment. WK Heavy Balloon dealt with depression and On I Go grew out of a 2012 imprisonment for hash possession. The title track came late in the recording process after the album already had its title. WK
Pitchfork gave the album a perfect score. The last time had been in 2010 for Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Jenn Pelly described it as “an unyielding masterpiece.” WK All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it “complex and profoundly human, …nourishing and joyfully cathartic.” WK USA Today’s Patrick Ryan called it “a dense and richly poetic masterpiece from one of music’s best modern storytellers.” WK
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