Updated: Jul 9
Squirrel Flower, the moniker of Ella Williams, presents a new single/video, “Flames and Flat Tires,” from her forthcoming album, Planet (i), out June 25th on Polyvinyl. It’s the third single Williams has released thus far, following “I’ll Go Running” and “Hurt A Fly.” “I’ll Go Running” showed Williams’ determination to move and change on her own terms, and “Flames and Flat Tires” drives this onward motion in a bright wave of sound, as she compares her body to a burning car on a 4am joyride, the city crumbling behind her. “I wrote ‘Flames and Flat Tires’ on my second day of quarantine in Bristol, England ahead of recording. It was late August, hot, I was staying in a place that opened onto a party street, and every night I stayed up listening to the sounds of the revelers and the birds squawking and screaming until 6am, then all day watched people hanging laundry in their backyards through my kitchen window. This was one of those tunes that just falls out."
IYLT: Hand Habits, Flock of Dimes, Lala lala, Karima Walker
What this song feels like: Flames and Flat Tires feels the turning point in a sad story, embodied by this sort emptiness, desperation even, in the scene where the main character decides to run into their pain instead of running from it providing viewers with a silver lining, a glimpse of hope that one day things will be better. An embodiment of duality, Williams melodic grief stricken vocals contrasted against an up-tempo base line offering a symbolic display of the dynamic between between pain and hope, two things that are seemingly polar opposite, existing simultaneously in perfect harmony. This song reminds me of both destruction and creation, in it's purest form, growth. A beautiful reminder of what it means to be human.
What this song looks like:
The music video was directed by Lua Borges, who elaborates: “This video is encased by the imagery of broken parts and abandonment. Objects that have become useless. Physical matter that looks so small inside our world. It gives life to an internal feeling of self-doubt and uncertainty, which the song approaches so intently. But ‘Flames and Flat Tires‘ is also about fighting to overcome that, and staying present fully. In a way, everything that gets discarded needs to immediately use its strength of survival. Even when things get broken down they continue to exist forever. They are also fighting to survive. Metal scraps constantly battling the rust from taking over, or plastic waste that can challenge the most powerful decomposers. It’s the law of nature: everyone wants to survive. The most powerful instinct.
Planet (i) is a world entirely of Williams’ making. The title came first to her as a joke: it’s her made-up name for the new planet people will inevitably settle and destroy after leaving Earth, as well as the universe imagined within her music. The record is a love letter to disaster in every form imaginable - these songs fully embrace a planet in ruin. Buoyed by her steadfast vision and propelled by her burning comet of a voice, Planet (i) is at once a refuge, an act of self-healing, and a musical reflection of Squirrel Flower’s inner and outer worlds.
Squirrel Flower Tour Dates
Fri. June 25 - Rough Trade Instagram Livestream
Sat. June 26 - Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village (early and late) - RECORD RELEASE SHOW
Wed. Sept. 15 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse $
Thu. Sept. 16 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle $
Fri. Sept. 17 - Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar $
Sat. Sept. 18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer $
Sun. Sept. 19 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club $
Tue. Sept. 21 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel $
Wed. Sept. 22 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club $
Thu. Sept. 23 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club $
Sat. Sept. 25 - Montreal, QC @ Fairmount Theatre $
Sun. Sept. 26 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre $
Tue. Sept. 28 - Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop $
Wed. Sept. 29 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall $
Fri. Oct. 1 - Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom $