Release Date: Jun 25, 2021
Record label: Polyvinyl
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The follow up to 2020's I Was Born Swimming, Planet (i) was recorded in Bristol (UK) with an array of guest vocalists (Tomberlin, Katy J Pearson , Brooke Bentham , Tenci 's Jess Shoman, Jemima Coulter , plus her brothers Nate and Jameson Williams) and is apparently "a love letter to disaster" that fully embraces the elements Williams always feared and finds a planet in ruin. It's not just outer turmoil that informs Squirrel Flower 's fiery delivery but inner turmoil too, with Planet (i) becoming a place for physical and emotional healing. In that way, it also harbours a cocoon-like safe space: The constant fuzz that hits at the back of her vocals and guitar strums make for the most comforting kind of disaster you're ever likely to encounter.
The title of Squirrel Flower's debut record, I Was Born Swimming, pays reference to her troubled birth, coming out of the womb floating in amniotic fluid. Where her debut record represented a birth, a songwriter in constant movement as she finds her place in the world, the sophomore effort from singer/songwriter Ella Williams is instead a rebirth in fire. Taking her vision to a planetary scale, Williams penned a self-described "love letter to disaster" with Planet (i).
Ella Williams was writing tender songs about freeways and driving long before a certain No. 1 hit about a driver's license came along. Williams, a 24-year-old songwriter who records under the name Squirrel Flower, filled her debut, 2020's I Was Born Swimming, with meditations on interstates, headlights, and ambiguous lovers who carry her inside when she's fallen asleep on the road.
"I'm a space rock burning fast" sings Ella Williams on 'I'll Go Running', the opening song on Planet (i). It's a line that stands out not just because it's a clear reference to the title and concept of this second full- length the Boston-based 24-year-old has made as Squirrel Flower, but also because it demonstrates her incredible ability to exist both within and without herself at the same time, to turn clichés on their heads. When Freddie Mercury sang 'I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky' on Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', it was out of exuberance and celebration.
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