I have several motives in writing this post. I want to share my favorite songs from Fiona Apple, because she’s AMAZING and if you don’t listen to her, you are seriously missing out. I’m also hoping that by posting this, the universe will align and her fourth album will somehow be released soon, because it’s been like SIX YEARS.
I started listening to Fiona Apple when I was eighteen, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Vocally, she’s my biggest influence, though I’ll never get close to ever being able to sing like her. That’s okay – there’s no way of copying her voice. It’s smooth and yet so emotional that it just draws you in. She has a very jazzy way of phrasing her voice that I love, love, love. Her lyrics are never trite or cliche – they are little poems, intelligently and quizzically questioning love in ways that you leave you thinking long after the song has finished.
Here are some of my favorites.
1. “Parting Gift”
I played this song on repeat last fall, when I was going through my latest dating disaster. I really like how the verses are soft and confessional, and the chorus is more emotional. “It said stop, but we went on whole-hearted, it ended bad, but I love where we started.”
Two songs introduced me to Fiona. This is the first. It was late at night during my first semester in college, and I was watching this countdown of controversial videos on MTV. (I know! MTV used to play videos!) This song was on the list, and it was the first time I had heard it. It really stuck with me.
3. “Across the Universe”
That same semester, I was watching Pleasantville on TV and struck at how beautiful this song was (it was played over the credits). Since I had a lot of free time on my hands, I spent a ridiculously long time looking for this video on the internet (alas, Youtube was still several years away from being invented). This cover is perfection.
4. “Paper Bag”
When I hear this song, I’m immediately transported back to Fall 2002 – playing my music too loud for my roommate, getting hazelnut-flavored coffee on rainy evenings before heading out to my evening history class, and walking around campus late at night with a boy.
5. “After You’ve Gone”
In absence of new songs, Youtube is fortunately full of live covers Fiona has done of old standards. This cover is just so simple and lovely.
P.S. Please Fiona, release your album already.