I often wonder why two of my favorite female songwriters take so much time to release albums. Cat Power is about to release a new album ‘Sun’ in September and Fiona Apple has just released one ‘The Idler Wheel…’, but both of them hadn’t put out something new since 2008 (the covers album ‘Jukebox’/Cat Power), or rather 2006 (‘The Greatest’/Cat Power) and 2005 (‘Extraordinary Machine’/Fiona Apple)!
So honestly, what takes so long? They are great artists and they have that luxury to be able to take their time, with apparently, no pressure from their labels (Matador and Epic). But in recent interviews, the two ladies explained their different reasons.
In an interview with The Stool Pigeon, Chan Marshall became very personal, opening up about her personal life to reveal the delay between albums:
'Oh man, it’s a bag of beans there. I entered a long relationship, which I really wanted to be successful. You know that thing we’re all raised to want: a beautiful life with children — that family thing that is tangible? [pauses] Before, I tended to just survive, survive, survive. Gaining a lot of… not knowledge, not life experience… but I had this opportunity of traveling around the world, meeting all these people and having these experiences that have shaped who I am now.
‘Then there’s this other part of me who wants to be a mother; who wants to love so deeply on a level I’ve never know; to have that connection with life I’ve never felt. It’s very different from singing a song and feeling in communion with humanity, so it was hard for me to be a believer in two completely different things. It was difficult creating both and that’s why it took so long. I was trying to grow my personal life in a way I never did before…’
Unfortunately for her, her relationship with actor Giovanni Ribisi ended, so we will get this new album soon, which seems to coincide with a real change in her life as she added:
‘There was a cut-off date. The timing couldn’t have been more distracting, to say the least. It was down to the wire and [I was] really suffering, in the end. You have a huge responsibility with the things you’re trying to create to do your best. [...The break-up] wasn’t really out of leftfield, but it kinda was. I cut my hair off three days later, got on a plane to France and finished the shit. It’s all good, you know. I love the person very much. I actually love this record very much, too. I’m very proud of it.’
As for Fiona, it is a little bit different, she follows her own path and clock as she explained to the LA Times:
‘I don't have a plan about it. It's always like, 'Jesus, has it really been that long? It's the one area of my life where I follow my circadian clock, where I'm faithful to the right way of doing things. I don't rush things. I let it happen when it happens. I also just accept that I might never want to write a song again.’
But actually we learn in the article that this long delay is not entirely hers as the album was finished 2 years ago, but ‘uncertainty in the executive offices at her label, Epic Records, kept her from delivering ‘The Idler Wheel’ until new Chief Executive L.A. Reid and his team were in place’.
And there is also another reason why Fiona takes her time between albums, she now lives in Venice Beach and has stuff to do around the house:
‘I’ve got so much stuff to do at my house. I feel like I’m constantly cleaning. I’m constantly folding laundry and vacuuming. That’s why it takes so long! Because of … housework.’
Ha Fiona, how I understand you! But could you just hire a house cleaner at times?