366 Songs 194: Every Single Night

If ever a song made me want to give the artist a hug, this would be a strong contender for the that title. There’s such a vulnerability here, not only in the obvious moments (The fluttering “I just want to feel everything,” sung in such weightless tones, you worry that Fiona Apple is about to disappear before you), but the force behind the “Every single night is a fight with my brain,” with that last word drawn out with aggression and restrained anger. Add in the visualization of creativity as not only pregnancy (“These ideas of mine/Percolate the mind/Trickle down the spine/Swarm the belly, swelling to a blaze”) but a painful, difficult birth (“Brother, get back/Cause my breast’s gonna bust open/The rib is the shell and the heart is the yolk yoke/And I just made a meal for us both to choke on”), and there’re layers to pick through here, and all of this something to recognize with, empathize with and wish you could make it easier for her.

(That the instrumentation in the opening and closing so closely resembles something like a music box or child’s toy just underscores the intent of vulnerability; it’s sentimental and cheap, but it definitely works…)