Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
April 17, 2020 2:12 AM   Subscribe

Fiona Apple’s fifth record is unbound, a wildstyle symphony of the everyday, an unyielding masterpiece. No music has ever sounded quite like it. Available now (only on digital platforms until the shutdown ends). Pitchfork have awarded the album their first 10/10 rating since Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' back in 2010. “Blast the music! Bang it! Bite it! Bruise it!”

Available on ALL streaming platforms including: Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music, YouTube, Google Play, Pandora, Napster, I heart Radio, Soundcloud and Deezer.
posted by Lanark (69 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Guardian - The unhurried artist’s first studio album in eight years is astonishing, intimate and demonstrates a refusal to be silenced
posted by Lanark at 2:46 AM on April 17


YouTube of title track.
posted by hippybear at 3:03 AM on April 17


And purchased, based on the title track. I've loved Apple since her first early releases, and I'll be glad to experience what she has to share at this point in her life. I've always found her insightful and surprising, so this will be fun.
posted by hippybear at 3:08 AM on April 17


Oh, and the whole album is sitting on YouTube right here. For those who aren't members of any streaming services.
posted by hippybear at 3:10 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Hippybear, that link is dead, try this playlist.
posted by Lanark at 3:18 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Link is still working for me. It's to Apple's YT account's list of uploaded videos. It's not a playlist. Her official account has uploaded audio for the full album to YouTube. So people can find it there if that link is not working.

Also, this album is astounding. It's... kind of hard to describe.
posted by hippybear at 3:23 AM on April 17


Fiona Apple’s Art of Radical Sensitivity - Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker, a very long read profile of the artist and the album.
posted by hippybear at 3:29 AM on April 17 [11 favorites]


Rack of His is a dis track about Blake Mills, right?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:32 AM on April 17


It must be region locked, all I can see is "This channel has no videos."
posted by Lanark at 3:37 AM on April 17


Perhaps Apple has a localized YouTube for your region. I cannot check this out for myself, but if you poke around YT or Google you might find it.
posted by hippybear at 3:39 AM on April 17


I dont think so, searching finds videos on that channel, which I can play, but the channel itself is completely empty, even the avatar is empty.
posted by Lanark at 3:45 AM on April 17


Bizarre. I guess the important thing is you found a playlist so you can listen to the album, yes?

It's really quite remarkable.
posted by hippybear at 3:47 AM on April 17


Yes I'm listening on Spotify - it is wonderful.
posted by Lanark at 4:10 AM on April 17


Well, that's gonna be on repeat for the rest of the day.
posted by pemberkins at 4:35 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


A new Fiona Apple and a new season of Bosch? It's a pandemic miracle! Very excited about this
posted by dis_integration at 4:54 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Oh, BTW, that New Yorker article is the liner notes for this album, basically. It's one hell of a read and it covers so much ground, and so many little details it mentions about the album I'm noticing as I listen. Many questions are answered there.
posted by hippybear at 4:54 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


PS Ed O'Brien has a new album out too. Today is a great day for music.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:31 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


Is it on Google Play? It doesn't seem to be on the Canadian version of the service, anyway. YouTube Music does have it, and everyone with a Google Play Music subscription should have access to that too so it's fine, but it kinda sucks that I can't just listen to it the way I listen to everything else I don't already own.

Listened to half the album before bed. It's great, I like it a lot better than The Idler Wheel on first listen.
posted by chrominance at 5:38 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


(also I know this seems like a weird thing to ask, but can you... buy... the album anywhere? will you ever be able to?)
posted by chrominance at 5:39 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Ach, I wish this was on Bandcamp, so that I could purchase uncompressed, non-DRM digital files (and incorporate into my DJ sets, whenever nightlife re-opens…).

That said, super excited to check this out! The title track is lovely and reminds me of the impact "Criminal" had on me as a queer university freshman. So many feels!
posted by LMGM at 5:39 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


Interesting trivia: according to the Wikipedia article on the album, Cara Delevigne provides background vocals on some tracks…
posted by LMGM at 5:43 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


Is it on Google Play? It doesn't seem to be on the Canadian version of the service, anyway

It is. I didn't see it in there new releases section but if you go to Fiona Apple's artist page it is one of the albums. I wasn't sure that would be the case as a lot of new stuff is on YouTube Music only which sucks because it splits up where your music is.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:50 AM on April 17


Pitchfork gave this a ten out of the gate? With scarcely time after release for a second listen? I don't hate Fiona Apple and will give it a listen, but I'm reflexively suspicious of such immediately high praise.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 5:56 AM on April 17 [4 favorites]


Interesting trivia: according to the Wikipedia article on the album, Cara Delevigne provides background vocals on some tracks…

According to the New Yorker article, she provides some harmonies on Fetch the Bolt Cutters as well as the "meow".
posted by like_neon at 6:31 AM on April 17


The Pitchfork article was published at midnight. I suspect, as would be typical for professional reviews, they had an advance copy and the review was just embargoed until the album was released.
posted by stopgap at 6:32 AM on April 17 [22 favorites]


I wake up and Reddit tells me "Pitchfork gives Fiona Apple's new album, Fetch The Bolt Cutters, the first 10/10 in a decade (since Kanye's MBDTF)"

I certainly want to hear this, but the hype machine has apparently been cranked to E11even.
posted by SoberHighland at 6:33 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


"I certainly want to hear this, but the hype machine has apparently been cranked to E11even."

There's really no point in complaining about "hype" if you haven't even heard it yet, though. Listen to it, make up your own mind and...that's it. That's generally how music works.
posted by anhedonic at 6:46 AM on April 17 [24 favorites]


Rack of His is a dis track about Blake Mills, right?

That's how I'm reading it, but we will never really know.
posted by Lanark at 7:05 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I listened to it. Some good rhythms, some surprising musical twists, fairly sparse mixing but still good earfeel, and: it's Fiona Apple; in general she's pretty much out of fucks to give and would like you to know it.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:30 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


From the New Yorker article linked above: "As frank as her lyrics can be, they are not easily decoded as pure biography. She said, of Rack of His, 'I started writing this song years ago about one relationship, and then, when I finished it, it was about a different relationship.'"
posted by merriment at 7:32 AM on April 17 [5 favorites]


(also I know this seems like a weird thing to ask, but can you... buy... the album anywhere? will you ever be able to?)

I bought it and downloaded it through iTunes. I don't know about physical media, but I'd assume that'll be coming sooner or later.
posted by hippybear at 7:33 AM on April 17


There is a Fiona Apple Store online listing vinyl etc, but they dont yet have any stock, its expected 'sometime in the summer' and is hosted by MusicToday.
posted by Lanark at 7:47 AM on April 17




HD Tracks has a 24/48 version...
posted by cybrcamper at 8:05 AM on April 17 [2 favorites]


At least five dogs are credited: Mercy, Maddie, Leo, Little, and Alfie
posted by signal at 8:23 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Bolt cutters are a girl's best friend. Thanks for this, Lanark.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:25 AM on April 17


Her dog has apparently witnessed record company executives dealing with talent. (NSFW human and dog language)
posted by zaixfeep at 8:34 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


The main link, the pitchfork review, is really good, worth a read.
posted by signal at 8:35 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


The only hype machine I needed for this was her last album!!!
posted by valrus at 8:37 AM on April 17


Dang, that title track is great. Really looking forward to marinating in this whole album for years and years!
posted by riverlife at 9:03 AM on April 17


The title track is my dog's favorite sing-along song ever. She's in the backyard singing it to the neighbor dog now.
posted by prinado at 10:20 AM on April 17 [9 favorites]


Started playing it at midnight, fun impromptu listening party on Twitter. My favorite part was following along on Genius, watching the "Watched" and "Fire" stats climb track-by-track as the world all discovered it at the same time.

PS It's raw and fantastic and I currently have no arguments with Pitchfork's 10.
posted by whuppy at 10:32 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Loving this! Rakesh Satyal had a good Twitter thread going over her entire discography in anticipation of this album--made me realize how much her work meant to me.
posted by Mngo at 11:10 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


This album is incredible.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:29 AM on April 17


This was the first thing taquito boyfriend told me about when I woke up; he described it as "Sergeant Pepper John Lennon & post-John Yoko Ono try to recreate Boys for Pele, but they've only heard it described, but it's Fiona Apple in a barn." Gonna crack it open once I retrieve the good headphones.
posted by taquito sunrise at 11:58 AM on April 17 [15 favorites]


So good. I love her so much.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:01 PM on April 17


he described it as "Sergeant Pepper John Lennon & post-John Yoko Ono try to recreate Boys for Pele, but they've only heard it described, but it's Fiona Apple in a barn."

I get the Tori overtones. Also there's some Laurie Anderson going on there, too. Ultimately it's a unique musical statement that I don't think has much precedent.
posted by hippybear at 12:07 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


The pure organic not really manipulated sonic nature of this album has to be commented on, too. It's very much a studio product, but it's all assembled real sounds, it's not studio effects and stuff much. It has this sense of immediacy, like it could be being performed in your living room somehow.

I'm finding this whole experience astounding. Something like 8 times through now since it was released.
posted by hippybear at 12:55 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


It's very much a studio product.

I think it was almost all recorded in Apple's house using Garageband on an Apple laptop.
posted by Lanark at 1:20 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I didn't know this morning that I needed a new and spectacular Fiona Apple record in my life, but now having listened to it twice back-to-back, I don't understand how I lived before it and now I'm going to start it again.
posted by General Malaise at 1:26 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah, but if you read the New Yorker article it's very obvious she was doing it as a layered studio product, as in not done live but assembled out of bits recorded in different times and stuff.
posted by hippybear at 1:27 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Emily VanDerWerff, Vox: Fiona Apple’s new album sounds like 2020 feelsFetch the Bolt Cutters is the impotent fury of right now in convenient album form.
Bolt Cutters is “about” a great many things (if anyone can claim any Apple album, full of eclectic influences and ideas, to be “about” any handful of things). It tackles women’s rage at the indignities we are forced to suffer under the patriarchy, Apple’s own ambivalence about entering her 40s (except maybe that ambivalence is also fueled by the patriarchy???), and the difficulty of finding lasting love at any age.

But what most resonates throughout Bolt Cutters is the feeling of being trapped somewhere, slowly unraveling, impotently furious about a world that is tearing itself apart without your consent. The album sounds like being in a car where everybody else is only too happy to be speeding toward a cliff. It’s like not being able to sleep because you’re so worried about some indefinable something.

All of which, uh, might sound familiar at the moment.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:49 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I am here for this forever. Hot damn.
posted by minsies at 2:44 PM on April 17


Sady Doyle has a thread discussing the problematic ways the press frames Apple's mental health issues. She points out that instead of addressing them in a forthright manner, the press instead packs her neurodivergent status into too oft used characterizations for female artists - and how that harms both artists and the neurodivergent.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:25 PM on April 17 [2 favorites]


I'm honestly not sure I've read anything about this album that does what that twitter thread says is happening. Everyone is pretty aware that Apple has things she's dealing with and that they affect her life.
posted by hippybear at 5:37 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


“Heavy Balloon” is my favorite.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:13 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


I am not hearing any greatness yet. I have loved every other album so far, but this one does not seem like a keeper for me. Some of the piano is great but otherwise bleh. I'll keep listening.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:01 AM on April 18


> HD Tracks has a 24/48 version...

Great, I thought, I can get at it even though I don't do streaming!

Now I feel like a total idiot. I just paid HD Tracks 15 quid for the files, only to discover that I can't get them because I can't run their their WINDOWS ONLY download manager. Sucks to be me I guess.

If anyone has a workaround (I'm on linux) I'd be so grateful!
posted by Gamecat at 2:20 AM on April 18


hippybear: "Fiona Apple’s Art of Radical Sensitivity - Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker, a very long read profile of the artist and the album."

She had quit cocaine years earlier, after spending “one excruciating night” at Quentin Tarantino’s house, listening to him and Anderson brag. “Every addict should just get locked in a private movie theatre with Q.T. and P.T.A. on coke, and they’ll never want to do it again,” she joked.
posted by chavenet at 2:36 AM on April 18 [6 favorites]


I'm honestly not sure I've read anything about this album that does what that twitter thread says is happening.

Me neither, but for every Vulture.com or New Yorker interview there are about 100 copycat articles on crappy media websites where they copy and paste a few snippets from an original source and throw in a photograph from 1997. Those reviews/articles are mostly not worth reading and I suspect that's what she is talking about.
posted by Lanark at 3:09 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


can you... buy... the album anywhere? will you ever be able to?

Physical copies: CD, Deluxe CD and Vinyl will be out in late June.
posted by Lanark at 3:14 AM on April 18


Just in case it helps anyone else, I found an old alpha version of a HD Tracks downloader here, and it worked fine, so I haven't wasted my 15 quid after all.

So far, astonished by the album. Thank you for the heads-up :)
posted by Gamecat at 3:21 AM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Great sound engineering, fantastic drumming and percussion, raw and heartfelt vocals with twisty, personal lyrics. I'll need several listens to fully synthesize the experience, but I really enjoyed my first time with this album.

What stands out the most for me, is how up-close and intimate the entire album is. It's like discovering a long lost sibling you never knew about and then distilling the essence of who they are into a sort of musical conversation. All painted in shades of compelling melancholy.

Definitely worth a listen for anyone with the faintest interest in music.
posted by Godspeed.You!Black.Emperor.Penguin at 11:19 AM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I just listened to the whole thing loud on the living room stereo and as someone who’s been mostly indifferent to her in the past, it blew me away. Absolutely lives up to the hype as a musical ... onslaught of ideas is how I’d put it.
posted by freecellwizard at 2:05 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I like the way she's exploring what it means for a woman to get through/not get through to another woman.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:15 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


More from The New Yorker: The Homemade Insight of “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”

"And yet, because of Apple’s ear, acumen, and precise vocal enunciation, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters” also has a perverse musicality. The chants and interjections at the heart of these songs have the effect of choruses, even when they’re not designed as such. They get lodged in the gut or the chest. There are shades of improvisational jazz, of Delta blues, of rap-battle taunts and nursery rhymes, but the album’s genre is hard to place...“Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is an invigorating document of energy, innovation, spontaneity, catharsis. These are things we’ve come to expect from Apple. But there is one thing that she deserves more credit for, as she toiled in her home, for years, accumulating the material to make these songs: her patience."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:23 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


Allow Fiona Apple to Reintroduce Herself by Rachel Handler
posted by Lanark at 4:39 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I liked the album. It evokes bits of Meredith Monk, Kate Tempest and Evelyn Glennie (in the use of percussion).
posted by abakua at 4:58 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


Took a bit of a break and relistened today and it's still pretty wow. The song structures are pretty unique but they're starting to become sense in my mind.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on April 22


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