Fiona Apple’s first new song off her upcoming album, The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, is the studio version of the YouTube clips from her recent SXSW shows.
In the live performance of “Every Single Night,” Fiona clutches the air with her fingers. She closes her eyes and squeezes out all feeling inside her, almost doubling over toward the microphone. To her, singing live is the one moment where she doesn’t have to think about anything. “I’ve had the most wonderful moments of my life after singing… after a song ends, it like you’ve just woken up from a delicious nap and everything looks really bright and clear,” she said in an interview. “… and I’m looking around at my friends that I’m playing with, and they’re really really appreciating what I’ve got. You just feel so much. It feels so good.”
This idea of clearing the mind on stage is probably the opposite of what Fiona is singing about in “Every Single Night.” In this song, she sings “Every single night, I endure the flight of little whims of white flame, butterflies in my brain. These ideas of mine percolate the mind, trickle down the spine.” The lyrics are delivered confidently, as is her style, but she yearningly sings “I just wanna feel everything,” simply stating her wish.
The instrumentation remains light, so as not to distract from the poem. Slightly dissonant bells begin the song and carry throughout. Vocals float over the repeating chord changes, but she experiments with percussion during the husky, military-like chorus. Soft fuzz blankets the track.
It should be interesting to see what Fiona does with percussion in the new album, out June 19 on Epic Records. Instead of relying on Jon Brion’s orchestral arrangements, like those on Extraordinary Machine, “Every Single Night” and “Anything We Want” (a new song performed at the Bowery Ballroom) includes more drums, mallet instruments and copper pipe. That’s right, copper pipe.
Enjoy “Every Single Night,” Fiona Apple’s first single since 2005. Lyrics after the break.