Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fiona Apple's "Daredevil"

Photo by Sebastian Kim for Interview Magazine.
Before I start writing about "Daredevil," I have to admit something: Fiona Apple is one of those artists that passed me by. I had always heard about her and wanted to check out her music, but I just never got around to actually doing it. I heard a few songs here and there, but I was never the die-hard Fiona fan that some of my friends were in high school. After listening to her newest album with the lengthy and enigmatic title The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do though, I discovered the true meaning of better late than never. 

"Daredevil" in particular stuck out to me not only because it showcases Apple's vocal talent, but because of the raw emotion that comes through in this song. It seems to be teetering on-the-edge of a emotional breakdown and the strength of Apple's voice captures this kind of falling apart in an almost-frighteningly powerful way. Self-destruction is a theme that pervades this song lyrically as well. (And don't let me ruin me/I may need a chaperone). 

But the most interesting thing about "Daredevil" is the contrast between the unhinging in this song and the almost flippant way in which is treated. As the cool cats over at Lower Frequencies put it: 
Sometimes she screams and sometimes she sings so playfully that you feel almost toyed with — as if she’s saying, “What? You’re actually taking this seriously?”
Couldn't have said it better myself. And watching her perform this song live just amplifies the fact that she's walking a delicate line between being facetious and falling apart in "Daredevil". (Plus, she's just a whole lot of fun to watch on stage. Just check out her moves!)

Though I'm rather new to Fiona Apple, I can see why she appeals to so many: she is an incredibly mystifying and magnetic figure. If, like me, you were unfamiliar with her before today, go check her new album out! (And maybe get caught up on some of her older albums, like I still need to do). Listening to her, you will not regret trying something new.

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