We've been eagerly awaiting a follow-up to Fiona Apple fourth album, 2012's The Idler Wheel..., for a while now, and earlier this year when she teased new music it seemed like one might be imminent. She now gave her first interview in a while with Vulture, and confirmed that she is indeed working on a new album, one that was supposed to be done "a million years ago" but is tentatively due out next year. "I mean, I don’t know," she told Vulture. "It’s hard to say. I was supposed to be done a million years ago. And I go off and I take too long making stuff. I’m hoping for early 2020. I think."
Speaking more about her upcoming album, Fiona said:
Vulture: Can you compare it to any of your earlier albums? Or does it feel like it’s completely its own thing?
Fiona: It’s probably its own thing. But I don’t know how to articulate that. It’s like, if you’ve been working out every day for a month and then nobody sees you, they see the difference, but if you’ve been doing it all the time, you don’t really see the difference. I can’t really know the growth or the evolution or anything like that in what I do, because I’m in the middle of it.
Vulture: You take your time between albums. When do you know, okay, it’s time to start making music again?
Fiona: A lot of times it’s actually because I get kicked in the ass by the musicians I work with. They’re like, “Come on, when are we gonna get back to the album?” I’ve been making this album with my band, and they all have other gigs. They’ve got to make money. When it’s just me recording myself, it’s different, but with the band stuff, you have to wait for everybody to be in town and be able to do it. So that slows things down a bit. And I tend to forget about working after a while. And then be like, “Hey, what’s going on? Let’s play, let’s play.”
The whole interview, which touches on "Criminal"'s appearance in Hustlers, her infamous 1997 VMA acceptance speech, insomnia, Neil Portnow, and more, is worth a read, and you can do that here.
Fiona will appear on Jeff Goldblum's upcoming album, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, where she'll join him for a cover of Sinatra's "Don't Worry 'Bout Me." That's due out on November 1. She did a few other collaborations this year, too, covering The Byrds and Beach Boys with Jakob Dylan for the Echo in the Canyon soundtrack, and making a guest appearance on King Princess's cover of her song "I Know." In January, she appeared at a Los Angeles Chris Cornell tribute show where she sang "All Night Thing" with members of Temple of the Dog.