Remember, first, back to when it seemed like this might never happen. To a time when label drama had her left in limbo, and delays felt so endless that she told an audience that, “I can’t remember [how to play] any of my new songs because they’ve been done for a f***ing year.” Know that when she brought the album to her label, she told them that it was finished, that it had to be, even if it lacked a proper single. And that lengthy title? It’s just, as she says, “what the title’s supposed to be.” Then, take haste! Because Fiona Apple‘s much anticipated The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do is now streaming, via NPR, two weeks ahead of its June 19th release date.
And in the same swoop, we get a video for the album’s first single “Every Single Night,” by director Joseph Cahill. “Every single night I endure the flight,” she sings, inviting us into the surreal, zoological worlds of her dreams. There are hula-skirts and cuddling skeletons, squids and snails. Lots of snails. “I used to love to put snails on my arm,” she told Pitchfork. “I really like snails a lot.”
All the rest, though, was as bizarre for her as it is for us. And that’s exactly how she wanted it. “I told Joey just to come up with a bunch of things and do things to me and put me in situations and surprise me … They brought in sh*t that I would not have asked for,” she says.
Apple doesn’t — like she never has, really, and maybe doesn’t know how — bat an eye at her creepy-crawly costars. “I have not a bit of cringe in me,” she explains in an interview with Spin. “It delights me to look at that, to be like, ‘Look, you thought that was the end of the world.’ And it’s not, it wasn’t, it really wasn’t.” And as she sings, straight-faced with a dead squid on her head, “Every single fight’s alright.”