Fiona Apple was rather misunderstood in high school. Highly introverted, she didn't talk much but was clearly taking in her surroundings, leading her classmates to wonder what was going on inside her head.
In "Slow Like Honey," she sings in a menacing manner about how she will "haunt the world inside you," and refers to her "big secret." She has explained it as being in reference to the way other students viewed her during high school. It was Fiona's response to the question of, "What's the big secret?"
Apple's sound is very percussive; "Slow Like Honey" is driven by her piano, a vibraphone played by Jon Brion, and drumming by Danny Frankel. It's a very jazz-influenced song in a style similar to the standards Apple studied when she learned piano.
It was mostly guys, not girls, who were freaked out by Apple in high school, wondering what she was thinking about and wondering why she was always staring off into space. "No one would come near me because of that and I think that people think that if you're silent then you're like, snobby or something," She said. "Or you're depressed. I was just contemplative. What can I say?"
Apple was only 18 when "Slow Like Honey" was issued on her debut album, Tidal. She sounded a lot older, but looked younger, which created quite a contrast. As referenced in the song, Apple didn't seek attention, so doing rounds of promotion was alien to her. Her label, Sony, kept her busy for nearly two years performing and promoting, until finally Apple burned out, canceling a tour in March 1998. When her next album, When the Pawn..., was released in 1999, she did far less press and limited her touring. Afterwards, she waited several years between albums.