It’s nice to know that Fiona Apple is coming back.
When she first hit the scene with her debut album, the multi-platinum Tidal, she was 19-years-old, a frail-looking waif of a girl with enormous, haunting eyes and a powerful, throaty voice that surprised listeners and defied the tiny body from which it came. But Apple crooned and shouted and spat and lulled her way into the hearts of listeners and she became a household name.
And then things slowed down for a while. She didn’t go on an official hiatus, but the absence of albums and EPs for nearly a decade left some fans feeling high and dry. But now she is finally reemerging. Her first album in seven years, The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do, is scheduled to be released this June. If this is a mouthful for anyone, the album is also more simply known as The Idler Wheel. The extensive, poetic title is reminiscent of Apple’s second studio album, which has a title that would take up a third of this entire blog.
There is of course a lot of buzz over the return of Apple. Her last and third studio album, Extraordinary Machine, was marked by strife and disputations. There were rumors of disputes over commercial appeal of Extraordinary Machine, which was shelved for several years due to the producers’ inability to pinpoint a potential single. Followed by seven years of no new material, it looked like she might never return.
Her restart has been a bit bumpy, with “new” material floating around for a long time, but she has started performing her new songs at venues and also kicked off a small, spring tour on March 14, marking her first tour outside of Los Angeles in 5 years. Apple has come a long way in the last 15 years from Tidal, which was home to her phenomenal early hit “Criminal.” If she crafted songs like that at 19, imagine what she’ll have to offer on her mature and upcoming The Idler Wheel.