Fetch the Bolt Cutters is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple and her first release since The Idler Wheel… in 2012. It was produced and performed by Apple alongside Amy Aileen Wood, Sebastian Steinberg and Davíd Garza; recording consisted of long, often-improvised takes with unconventional percussive sounds.
Rooted in experimentation, the highly percussive album resists genre categorization. While conventional instruments, such as pianos and drum sets, do appear, the album also features prominent use of non-musicial found objects as percussion. Apple described the result as “percussion orchestras”. These industrial-like rhythms are contrasted against traditional melodies, and the upbeat songs often subvert traditional pop structures.
The album explores freedom from oppression; Apple identified its core message as: “Fetch the fucking bolt cutters and get yourself out of the situation you’re in”. The title, a quote from TV series The Fall, reflects this idea. The album also discusses Apple’s complex relationships with other women and other personal experiences, including bullying and sexual assault.