I suppose given the number of people who will be listening to U2 right now, I should pick a U2 video today but I won’t. I know one or two of their songs because they were played so much when I was growing up but I was more focused on Goth bands like The Mission, The Cure and The Sisters of Mercy.
Fiona Apple is not a Goth singer, not even close, but she’s got a quirkiness that I like. I remember very clearly when I first encountered her music. My wife (then girlfriend) and I had made one of our regular trips down to London. We’d go every three or four months to see a few plays, visit Kensington Market and battle up Oxford Street browsing for books and music.
On this particular trip (presumably July/August 1996), there were posters everywhere promoting the release of her début album – Tidal. They were just the cover from the album which in turn is just a close up of Apple’s face but for some unknown reason <cough> it got my attention. I ended up buying the album and although it wasn’t my usual sort of music, I enjoyed it.
Apple’s releases are intermittent but I have them all and we’ve seen her live in Vancouver when she was here promoting her most recent album – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do.
My favourite song of hers is the title track from her third album, released in 2005 – Extraordinary Machine. A lot of the lyrics really resonate with me, and it’s got an infuriatingly catchy melody that gets stuck in my head very easily.
Oddly, there doesn’t seem to be an official music video to go with it but here’s a live performance from The Today Show that’s pretty good, if a little low res.
[Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 10th September 2014]