Fetch The Bolt Cutters is Fiona Apple’s first album in eight years. It has been a long wait but the overdue record is one of the strongest albums to come out of 2020 so far.
The record opens with “I Want You To Love Me”. Jazzy beats are followed by classical piano and Fiona’s indie Kate Moss revival vocals. It’s a kind of jazzy pop that is rare to stumble across. Fiona’s experimentation is playful while her voice is more powerful than ever. She growls and whines with an alluring raspiness that pulls us in. The opening track sets the tone for an album that will continue to entice and surprise.
The album’s titular track “Fetch The Bolt Cutters” was one of the last song’s Fiona wrote for the album. The track is prime for a Tiny Desk Concert. The double bass is what pulls the track along and Fiona uses her voice in the most minimal way possible. She flirts lyrics somewhere between singing and talking, creating a sound that is both soothing and gritty.
“Under The Table” is a wickedly confident song with flirtatious jazz piano. Fiona sings: “Kick me under the table all you want / I won’t shut up, I won’t shut up.” Fiona is fierce and will not be hushed when she has an opinion. “I would beg to disagree,” she quips, championing defiance.
“Ladies” is an anthem of female solidarity. The sentiment is a beautiful one – never feel inferior as a result of comparing yourself to another woman. Each love is unique and your partner’s previous feelings should not be set up as competing with his feelings for you. Fiona sings: “And no love is like any other love / So it would be insane to make a comparison with you.” She charmingly adds: “There’s a dress in the closet / Don’t get rid of it, you’d look good in it.”
As a whole, Fetch The Bolt Cutters is a sultry album that oozes raw strength and femininity. It’s a little bit jazzy, a little bit poppy, and extremely moreish. It may have been eight years since Fiona’s last album, but it has definitely been worth the wait.