I like to live in the world where Fiona Apple is the enigmatic, left-of-centre, culturally beloved weirdo that she always was. Sometimes that reputation for musical genius gets bogged down by ludicrously long album titles or albums that she doesn’t want to release but fans believe the record company is holding it back, but we’re all a little better off as a society when Apple transcend those distractions and makes the highest of high-quality pop music.
The hype machine never really dies down for Apple. Her debut Tidal came out when she was a seventeen-year-old wunderkind, and her latest album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, immediately got pegged with perfect scores from critics and achieved “Album of the Year” status. So it’s refreshing when Apple does something comparatively low-key, like covering another artist’s work, as she recently did by supplying her own version of Sharon Van Etten’s ‘Love More’ that is included on the tenth anniversary of Etten’s sophomore album Epic.
“The emotional rawness and visceral angst and honesty of Fiona Apple’s music was first met by my teenage years, sharing a bedroom with my little sister – who so patiently studied for school as I tried to write, sing, and play guitar in a way I wasn’t ready for yet,” Etten explained about her connection with Apple’s music.
“Fiona made me want to be a better player. She made me want to have something to say. Although music has always been an important outlet for me, I knew I hadn’t lived like she had. Having no concept of age, I heard her voice as experienced and wise and someone that I wanted to be or to know. I carried her with me.”
Apple and Etten do sound like they’re cut from the same cloth, musically speaking. Voices that waver and crack at the most opportune moments, intensity the seethes and can turn explosive counterbalanced with a gentle touch and beautiful arrangement skills.
Most of the other artist on the tenth-anniversary edition of Epic sound like they’re reinterpreting Etten’s songs for themselves, but Apple sounds as if she was always meant to be singing ‘Love More’.
Check out Fiona Apple’s cover of ‘Love More’ down below. Epic Ten is available now.