This album changed my life: Fiona Apple’s When the Pawn...

Ailbhe Reddy: The 1999 release was groundbreaking to me – it’s so honest and self-aware

 

This album changed how I write and how I think about songwriting. It talks about mental health, failed romances and Fiona Apple’s relationship with herself.

It made me feel heartbroken and liberated all within one spin. I began compulsively listening to it on repeat two years ago. I had just released my first EP and I was going through a break-up.

The album expressed things which I had trouble with: my lack of faith in myself within relationships, mental health and honesty. I’m a big fan of Jon Brion’s film scores, so I adored the production.

Almost chaotic

The song Fast as You Can is a masterpiece to me, it’s almost chaotic. She vacillates between sensitively explaining she cannot be in a relationship, to comparing herself to a parasite that needs to be scratched out from beneath the skin, to almost mockingly saying “my pretty mouth will frame the phrases that will disprove your faith in man”.

This album isn’t about a break-up or another person. This album is about her inner life and how it affects those around her. That was groundbreaking to me, it’s so honest and self-aware.

Ailbhe Reddy plays Whelan’s in Dublin tonight, Saturday, October 21st.

 

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