June 4, 2012


Listen: Fiona Apple Samples School Children Screaming on "Werewolf"

Bill McCay
Bill McCay

"Werewolf," another new track from Fiona Apple's June 19 release The Idler Wheel..., just dropped online—and it comes complete with vocals from a few special guests: No, not a pack of werewolves, but a bunch of screaming school children. Listen below.

The track has all the hallmarks of an Apple classic: pounding ivories, romantic resentfulness, wistful vocal delivery and metaphor/simile-laden lyrics. Which is to say: This is another awesome song from a master at the peak of her craft. The sample of the school children, though, came together coincidentally after spending a year attempting to recreate a specific sound. 

Apple tells Pitchfork that when she first recorded the track in her mother's Harlem apartment, a battle scene from a movie was playing in the background. 

"I liked it, but I couldn't use it from the movie," Fiona said. "I spent literally the next year trying to recreate that sound." After failed attempts at recording drunken people in cities like San Francisco, that sound surfaced one morning when children were playing at the elementary school across the street from Apple's Los Angeles home.

"I had just gotten out of the shower and I heard all these kids screaming... I was like, 'Oh sh*t, that's it.' I threw on whatever was right there—which I didn't realize at the time was a pair of pants that I was going to throw away because the ass was split—and I ran out, half-clothed, carrying my recording thing. I was standing there looking like a crazy person, watching these kids. They were jumping with balloons between their legs, trying to make them pop. In the actual song, we had to take out all the balloon pops because they sounded like gunshots. But it was so perfect."

The end result sounds nearly perfect, too. Tell us what you think in the comments below.