By Zachary Swickey
Here in the MTV Newsroom, we are anxiously awaiting the June 19 release of Fiona Apple’s fourth studio album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do. New music from the set has slowly been trickling out ahead of the album’s release and today we got a first listen to a new song, “Werewolf.”
Apple discussed the making of the tune with Pitchfork and her trouble recreating a particular sound bite she wanted on the track. When she first recorded the track at her mother’s home in Harlem, a battle scene from a movie was playing in the background. She dug what she heard, but couldn’t use the source material.
“I liked it, but I couldn’t use it from the movie. I spent literally the next year trying to recreate that sound,” she explained to Pitchfork. “I went to San Francisco for Halloween and I was hanging out in trolleys recording people screaming. I would walk past a bunch of drunk people and be like: ‘Hey, scream!’ But it would always sound wrong and stupid,” she continued.
She had all but given up hope, but on the first official day of recording the set she found her solution. “On the first morning we were planning to record, I had just gotten out of the shower and I heard all these kids screaming – there’s an elementary school across from my house in L.A. I was like, ‘Oh s**t, that’s it,’” she recounts.
She wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to fill the void of sound that she had been looking for. “I threw on whatever was right there – which I didn’t realize at the time was a pair of pants that I was going to throw away because the ass was split – and I ran out, half-clothed, carrying my recording thing. I was standing there looking like a crazy person, watching these kids.”
After some slight sound editing in the studio, the sample gave Apple just what she was looking for. “They were jumping with balloons between their legs, trying to make them pop. In the actual song, we had to take out all the balloon pops because they sounded like gunshots. But it was so perfect,” she said.
Listen to “Werewolf” over at Pitchfork. The aforementioned snippet happens the 2:10 mark of the track.