Why Fiona Apple Deserved “Phoebe Bridger’s” Grammys

I love Phoebe but there’s a reason why Fiona won :0


For the Grammys this past weekend, there was a fair amount of deserved wins, one of which being the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. As expected, this award was overshadowed by the winners for Album of the Year and Record of the Year, Grammys which went to Taylor Swift for her wonderful album, Folklore, and for Billie Eilish’s, Everything I Wanted. Despite the fact that we were all hoping for a win for Megan thee Stallion and Beyonce for Record of the Year, that’s not what this article is about, so let’s switch gears and keep talking about this year’s Best Alternative Music Album. 


The winner this year: Miss Fiona Apple for her studio album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters. 

Fetch the Bolt Cutters in true Apple form

The other nominees this year included Brittany Howard, Beck, Tame Impala, and yes, Phoebe Bridgers. While this Grammy is experiencing some controversy due to the fact that the world believes that Phoebe should have won for her recent amazing album, Punisher. And while I most certainly will not dispute the power and perfection that is Phoebe and her music, Fiona Apple deserved this win a thousand times over. 

Fiona’s wings, symbolizing her childhood daydream of flying above other school children as they exclaim, “Fiona has wings!”
Fiona performing in the 90s at the start of her career










For those of you who might not be familiar with Fiona Apple and her music, she has been in the music industry for years, her first songs peaking charts in the late 1990s. She has always been someone to stand out in the industry, with moments like her acceptance speech at the 1997 VMAs, where she called the world out on its B.S. and encouraged everyone to be comfortable with their own individuality, which at the time was considered controversial and saw her as being ungrateful towards the industry. In her music, she writes about topics such as closing herself off emotionally due to sexual assault she experienced at a young age, being open about sexuality and sensuality in a disapproving world, romance not living up to one’s expectations, and more.

Phoebe and Fiona, who actually worked together for a rendition of Silent Night not too long ago

She had been nominated a total of eight times before this year, only to win a single Grammy in 1998 for her performance of Criminal. This year, however, she was nominated for Alternative Music Album as well as for Rock Performance and Rock Song, of her recent hit, “Shameika”. Within these last three nominations, she won both Alternative Music Album and Rock Performance, beating out Phoebe’s Punisher and “Kyoto.” 

But let’s talk about why these Grammys went to the right person this year. 

Fiona in her controversial music video for her song “Criminal”

Fiona’s music has been something to pay attention to for years, and has been known for its power and for shaping the genres of rock and baroque pop. Just take her 2005 album, Extraordinary Machine, for example, an album with its titular song shaping personally my own and many others’ lives and music tastes. She has a very experimental sound, which from the get-go has been extremely unique and something to watch. You could really describe her as the literal blueprint for alternative music, with her first few albums being some of the most groundbreaking for the genre. And if it gives you any further peace of mind, Pitchfork gave Fetch the Bolt Cutters an entire score of 10, which by Pitchfork standards, is incredibly rare and only given to some of the best albums of all time. (Bridgers’ Punisher earned an 8.7 by the way) And sure, Pitchfork can kinda seem pretentious or condescending in its reviews, but a few other 10s that they’ve given have been for Radiohead’s Kid A, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and the Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin, and if you’ve heard any of those three I’m sure you know they are all so deserving of the rating, just as Apple is. 

Fiona during a performance

In Fetch the Bolt Cutters, Apple draws from a sound that differs greatly from any conventional pop sound, creating a sort of symphony of real life, recording it in her home and adding sounds of clapping, screaming, open space, and her several dogs throughout the tracks. Her brutally honest lyrics create an album that echoes thoughts of a young girl’s diary, opening the listener into a world full of her raw emotion and the mental exertion that she faced growing up. It’s liberating, not just for the listener but for her as an artist, as the album seems to be a collective effort of all of her past experiences, both good and bad, as she works through her relationships with her self-esteem from a young age, issues of sexual assault and harassment, and the music industry and the constant male gaze she was under in her career’s early years. She no longer apologizes for her faults in this album, but refuses to show any signs of weakness, and rejects the oppressive aspects of the world, emphasizing her desire to dismantle patriarchal values that she has come across in her own life and has seen affect others. 

But of course, I doubt that my support of Fiona Apple will have changed the minds of most die-hard Phoebe Bridgers fans, (and being one myself, Phoebe not getting a Grammy really does hurt my heart) but I hope that you’ll at least find some time to take Apple into consideration and recognize the real value that she has brought to the music industry and so much of the alternative world. 

*you listening to her new album*

Give Apple’s record a listen and I promise you you won’t be disappointed, she is a true lyricist and musician with a vision that few can hold claim to, and this year’s Grammys gave her exactly the recognition that she deserved.