In Fiona Apple’s new single “Every Single Night,” she confesses, “I just want to feel everything,” so it’s no surprise that, in the video for the song — which premiered Sunday on the Sundance Channel — she’s literally tethered to the world itself. Though, in true Fiona fashion, that world is as wondrous as it is downright weird.
In the clip, Apple is bound by beams, wires and threads to an increasingly odd series of set pieces, which include aquariums, the streets of Paris and dreamlike fields slathered in snails. Though, in keeping with the song’s somnambulant, stream-of-consciousness scope, you’re often not sure what is real and what is imagined. Frequently, Apple goes from controlling the situation to becoming an unwitting participant (she sings outside an aquarium, only to later be submerged in the stream, and in one scene, she playfully traces a hula figurine across an ornate floor then transforms into that figurine). In a lot of ways, the entire thing plays out like one long fever dream, and, appropriately, it leaves the head spinning.
Director Joseph Cahill fills the video with a nonstop onslaught of eye-popping imagery, including a claustrophobic bedroom crisscrossed by beams of light (not to mention Apple’s bedfellow, a man wearing a bull head), a borderline terrifying terrarium and a dizzying detour through the Parisian streets. And, of course, at one point, he makes the rather, uh, inspired decision to have Apple perform while wearing an octopus on her head — strangely, it fits in just fine. After all, we’re in sublimely surreal territory here.
Of course, whether you view the “Every Single Night” video as an artistic exploration of the interconnectivity of the entire universe (or just a collection of weird imagery) seems to be largely dependent on how you view Fiona Apple herself. If you couldn’t tell, I’m firmly encamped with the former — I think the video is fascinating, and her Idler Wheel … album is fantastic. But either way, after seven years, it’s nice to have her back. Apple continues to explore her depths and make art on her own terms. And sure, you could just focus on the octopus hat, but that’s sort of missing the point, isn’t it?
What do you think of Apple’s new video? Let us know in the comments!