Hello, world! In the tradition of celebrated pop icons like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, I am surprise releasing my album today. While other popular artists typically achieve this head-turning feat by foregoing the traditional rollout publicity, my album release is mostly a surprise because no one knows who I am or cares about my music career to begin with. And if you didn’t know it was going to happen, that’s a surprise, technically. So, surprise!
I’ll give you all a minute to catch your breath. I know—nobody saw this coming! Nobody would really have any reason to, since this is my first foray into music and until today I have been a totally unremarkable sub-vice director of accounts (northeastern Midwest division) at a company you haven’t heard of. And isn’t that what makes this all so exciting? Ah, the thrill of the entertainment industry, of which I am now a part as of several hours ago.
I’ve actually been promoting the album for months on my social media accounts, but seeing as how none of my posts have gotten any engagement, I figure that’s basically the same thing as a surprise release. Consider yourself blindsided!
Singles? Nope. (Picking favorites was too hard.) Music videos? None. (I look weird on camera.) Press releases? Nary a one. (Pitchfork never returned my DMs.) Instead, I’m dropping the whole album at once, in a move that will totally shock my fans, none of which exist yet, but once people listen to the album and become my fans, they’ll look back on this move and be retroactively shocked.
In the leadup to a big surprise release like this, there’s always a danger of a leak. Even though I’ve been telling all of my friends and coworkers about this album since it was no more than an accidental rhyme in my diary, none of them have mentioned it to anybody else as far as I can tell. Crisis averted! So grateful to my community for working to keep this on the DL—I know it couldn’t have been easy.
When a big star decides to release an album without any fanfare or advance notice, it’s usually seen as a sort of middle finger to the generally accepted way of doing things in the industry. I’m giving a middle finger to the generally accepted way of doing things, too: Most people learn how to play and write music before releasing albums, and I’m boldly turning that convention on its head. This is pure artistic expression, free from the tyranny of record labels and untainted by the oppressive sonic constraints of music theory and tonal harmony. My music speaks, warbles, and clumsily strums for itself.
I should also warn you, you won’t find this album on Spotify. I’m standing up to the unjust fact that Spotify pays its hard-working artists such paltry fractions of a penny per stream. Unless somebody wants to come over to my place and help me figure out how to upload songs to Spotify, in which case please add my tracks to as many playlists as you can, which I think is supposed to help somehow.
Not only is this album an industry-bucking maverick, it also represents a daring new artistic direction for me. “New” in the sense that previously I was not moving in any artistic direction. And “daring” in the sense that you have to admit it takes a certain level of nerviness to so frequently rhyme “you could have been my wife” with “you should have been my wife.”
What can I say? All the masters constantly reinvent themselves, and great art is all about subverting expectations. And I promise you, this album will subvert your expectations. Although, not if you’re expecting it to be a collection of breathily mumbled acoustic songs about my recent breakup. But why would you expect it to be that? Have you talked to Olivia? Did she say something? Has she finally listened to my voice memos? Is she willing to record a recreation of our last argument as a spoken word interlude?
Never mind. Everything on this album was written, performed, mixed, and mastered by me, so I might as well keep it like that. That singularity of perspective is what defines my sound, I guess, until I can find a producer who doesn’t have a different aunt’s funeral to go to every time I want to record. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sorry, I mean I won’t have it any other way. Just, realistically. I totally would if I could, though.
Anyways, I hope you enjoy the music, and thanks for reading to the end of this album title. Eat your heart out, Fiona Apple!