Fiona Apple's first album in seven years, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver of The Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, comes out next Tuesday. It's streaming over at NPR Music right here and right now. I'll have a review of it in Sunday's Inquirer.
This month, she explained to Pitchfork what the album title means: "I came up with it in a total rush. After having stayed up all night on deadline, it just came to me right after the sun rose. I didn't realize people would be like, "Oh shit, another poem." It just came out to be what it was-- sorry.
"If you think about it, the driver of the screw has one job and he is always trying to change things. But the idler wheel is there and has this great effect on what the gears do; the idler wheel knows the machine much better than just this one thing that's performing this one task."
"For the second line, I had read about whipping cords in a nautical book that my last boyfriend had. I read that when ropes get frayed at sea, you can repair the frayed ends of the ropes with whipping cords that are very strong. This goes right back to the parenting thing-- if I had a kid, and I had a choice between teaching somebody how to avoid trouble, or teaching them how to get out of it, I'd teach them how to get out of it."