Werewolf

Album: The Idler Wheel... (2012)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song finds Apple realizing that despite her best efforts in trying to be friends with a former lover, she just wasn't getting along with him. The singer told Interview Magazine: "'Werewolf' was really an important song for me because it was admitting, 'Yeah, all the anger that I had toward you was justified, and you are an a--hole, but I was a great dance partner, and I brought a lot of that out of you.'"
  • Apple opted for a mythological lupine metaphor to avoid using coarser expletives that would more crudely but accurately describe her anger towards her ex.
  • At around 2:10 into the track, a bunch of screaming children accompany Apple as she sings "Nothing wrong when, a song ends, in a minor key." She told Pitchfork how she struggled to come up with the right noise for the tune's frightening finish. "I wrote that song while staying at my mother's apartment up in Harlem," she explained. "Whenever there's a TV, I put on [Turner Classic Movies] - I always have it on, while I sleep, whatever. I was recording myself doing the song for the first time, and a battle broke out in the movie that was playing. People were shooting and screaming. I liked it, but I couldn't use it from the movie, so I spent literally the next year trying to recreate that sound. I went to San Francisco for Halloween and I was hanging out in trollies recording people screaming. I would walk past a bunch of drunk people and be like: 'Hey, scream!' But it would always sound wrong and stupid.

    But on the first morning we were planning to record, I had just gotten out of the shower and I heard all these kids screaming," Apple continued. "There's an elementary school across from my house in L.A. I was like, 'Oh s--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."

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