Fiona Apple will release her new album The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. a week from tomorrow but today we get to check out the music video for the album’s first single Every Single Night. As you can see below, the video is a visual feast for the eyes … and Fiona wears an octopus on her head … which means, most assuredly, that it will be the most interesting music video you’ll see all week. Click below to see Fiona‘s Every Single Night video in full to marvel at its inventive creativity and read a very favorable album review from NPR.
Emotions are so darn beautiful — that’s the message of music, much of the time. The giggling lilt of a melody, the ennobling swell of a crescendo: Popular songs, especially, often enhance our moods to lift us up, unbreak our hearts, drive us toward liberating confessions and cathartic climaxes. Courting the sublime so aggressively that it often gets ridiculous, pop music encourages listeners to imagine feeling in ways that make us bigger, better. Fiona Apple’s music does something different. A classically lovely woman whose gorgeous, sultry alto once led her toward alt-divadom, Apple has always dared herself to be and do something else: to say no to simple beauty and instead express the urges and insecurities that more accommodating artists tend to avoid. This has never been truer than on Apple’s first album in seven years, whose typically hard-to-digest title is partly The Idler Wheel — the part in a system of gears (on phonographs and cassette players, among other extraordinary machines) that, seemingly passively, helps other parts move. The feelings Apple takes on in her deliberately maddening, eventually addictive new songs are those that inch us along, filling up most of our lives: icky little feelings like petty jealousy, self-doubt, bored loneliness and shamed regret. This is the stuff we’d rather tamp down. Apple wraps her fingers around it and makes it unavoidable. The woman who sighs and yells and moans and twists her voice into unattractive shapes on The Idler Wheel is one who, by conventional standards, thinks and feels too much. She’s the kind whom others want to shut up, but she keeps resurfacing — in the poems of Sylvia Plath, the stories of Lorrie Moore, the films of Lynn Shelton and Miranda July. These are Apple’s peers, more than most singer-songwriters, though her uncompromising flow recalls Tori Amos and her sense of humor (as a friend who’s a major Fiona Apple fan pointed out to me) is a lot like Leonard Cohen’s. In the lyrics for songs like “The Periphery” (“They throw good parties there”), “Left Alone” (“I went to work to cultivate a callus”) and “Valentine” (“You didn’t see my valentine / I sent it via pantomime”), Apple goes where those literary types go, obsessively focusing on everything that’s not a Kodak memory. This is not pretty stuff, nor is it spectacularly tragic or horrifying. On The Idler Wheel’s first single, “Every Single Night,” Apple describes what she’s trying to capture as “the flight of little-wings of white-flamed butterflies in my brain” — a striking image that turns disturbing when you think about what it’s like to be enveloped by trapped, flapping tiny insects. The cultural theorist Sianne Ngai has dubbed these affects “ugly feelings” — “amoral and noncathartic, offering no satisfactions of virtue, however oblique, nor any therapeutic or purifying release.” Ngai compares them to “rats and possums, rather than lions,” beasts that menace in unglamorous ways.
You can read the rest of Ann Powers‘s brilliant album review HERE. Oh and by the way, at the NPR website, you can stream The Idler Wheel Is Wiser … in full. I’ve already listened to the album and I can tell you, it’s a veritable masterpiece. Something tells me that it really didn’t take Fiona Apple all these years to create such a powerful album … but even tho we had to wait longer than we prolly should have, the wait is almost over. I love this video and I love the album. I’m excited for the album’s release next week so that I can listen to the album in my car, on my iPhone … basically any and everywhere. Give the album a spin, I think you’ll fall in love as well. Enjoy the video and buy the album, you won’t be sorry.