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FALL PREVIEW / COVER STORY | Pop

Fall's Fresh Faces

September 04, 1997|ROBERT HILBURN

Fiona Apple, 19, confessional singer-songwriter

Look for: Extensive U.S. tour, including a November stop in Southern California.

Why she matters: This 19-year-old has already attracted attention with live shows, videos and recordings that are so nakedly personal that they border on exhibitionism. Like the Wallflowers, who share the same management, Apple has built a solid fan base through extensive touring, and she'll step up this fall from clubs to 3,000-seat halls. The tour starts Sept. 24 in Chicago and should reach Los Angeles by November, with the venue still to be determined.

Her debut album, "Tidal," has been edging up the Billboard Top 200 for nearly a year and is now poised to enter the Top 10. Sales could reach 2 million by the end of the year. Though the album is characterized by individuality and craft, Apple is most convincing live, where she performs her sexually charged, torch-rock songs with such intensity that she seems to act out obsessions and doubts in ways that can be both unsettling and unforgettable. For her striking visual flair, check out her "Criminal" video.

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