Label: Epic Records
Released: April 17

Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters has all the joy, chaos, and warped edges of a truly homemade product, but her songwriting ensures everyone will see themselves reflected in the music. From the perverse feeling of being praised by a bully (“Shameika”) to the weight of depression (“Heavy Balloon”) to the cyclical nature of pain and hurt (“Relay”) and even the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh (“For Her”), Fetch the Bolt Cutters grapples with all the messiness of life today. Though the songs all share a cacophonic quality that has long been part of Apple’s sound, each feels wholly its own. Apple’s wildly expressive voice remains one of the most unique tools in modern music. She can wring every ounce of meaning from phrases like “I would beg to disagree/But begging disagrees with me,” and can take the listener on a full emotional arc just by changing her inflection. We likely won’t be getting another Fiona Apple album for a long time, but Fetch the Bolt Cutters is the kind of record that will feel as vital and urgent a decade from now as it did the day it was released. —Grant Rindner