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Planet (i)

by Squirrel Flower

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Cam
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Cam Few other runner ups for fav track - great album for some quality time with music Favorite track: Deluge In The South.
Leon Frey
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Leon Frey A coming-of-age tale taking place during a gradual apocalypse, Planet (i) has exceptional magnitude and yet consistently feels tender.

An essential album of 2021.
James Muir
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James Muir This is so good! Intense and melancholic - pure class through and through. "I'll Go Running" is one of my favourite tracks of 2021.
snackthak
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snackthak What a voice! Squirrel Flower continues to grow. Contact Sports was "wow". Planet (i) is "WOW!" A cleaner, more refined sound that retains the focus on her soaring voice. LOVE! Favorite track: To Be Forgotten.
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  • T-Shirt - Planet (i)
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    INK COLOR: White and Red

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1.
I’ll go running, let my hair down I’ll go running, let my hair down Won’t give two ears to what you say now Won’t give two ears to what you say now I’ll go running, let my hair down Won’t give two ears to what you say now I’m a space rock, burning fast I’m a space rock, burning fast I’m an oil tank, burning slow You didn’t listen long enough to know I’ll tell you everything Give away every part And when I get worn out I’ll dive into the ground Pack it in and push it strong Pack it in and push it strong Pack it in and push it strong Pack it up and move along I’ll be newer than before I’ll be newer than before I’ll be something that you’ve never seen I’ll be newer than before I’ll tell you everything I’ll give away every part And when I get worn out I’ll dive into the dirt I’ll be newer than before I’ll be newer than before I’ll be something that you’ve never seen I’ll be newer than before I’ll be newer than before I’ll be newer than before I’ll be newer than before I’ll be newer than before I’ll be newer than before
2.
Took it too far again Thought that you were my friend? I just got the wrong idea in the morning Took it too far again Driving too fast again Thought that I told you the storm ended, And I’m never wrong Took it too far again Followed you home again Said I’d be back on track once you were gone, But I guess I was wrong Have you never made a mistake? Have you never said what you didn’t wanna say? Have you never wound up kicking yourself in the face? Broke your trust again Thought it would be the end But then I showed up at your door With my head in my hands And you took me in You know I could never hurt a fly Unless it wasted my time You seem kinda messed up, But I don’t mind Have you never made a mistake? Not sure how much more of this shit I can take Thought I was doing my best until you showed up and Said I took it too far again You thought I was your friend But I just got the wrong idea in the morning And I’m never wrong
3.
Storm is coming in Water in the gutter Underneath your house Drink it undercover Spilling from your mouth Rain is coming in They’re freaking out in Texas Deluge in the south I will take you in Wrap you up again In silk and chiffon shining Oh, you pulled a thread Now, let me unravel it I saw a hummingbird Face down in the water I stole a pack of cards From your gutter I tried the best I could To paint the house and forgive you But nothing seems to do the trick No nothing seems to do the trick No nothing seems to do the trick
4.
Big Beast 01:49
Out the window of my big beast Out the window with the flies and the breeze Out the window of my old guitar Out the window and we’re driving far, far You get angry and you’re so torn up I get lonely and I get fucked up I don’t know if I will ever change Oh, just relax and take a breath And look at the sun It burns my eyes Out on the concrete You got something in your eye But I know you’re crying ‘Cause your birthday’s in July The space in the ether Justify the weather Storm clouds in my mind The lightning in my mind’s eye Storm clouds in my mind Thunder inside The lightning in my mind’s eye
5.
Roadkill 03:25 video
Sunburn in your eyes - you’ll take the long way Took me by surprise - the sense that I could do it too This point is the start And now I’m a builder And now I’m a builder Slow down! Don’t wanna risk the roadkill Slow down! Don’t wanna risk being overkill Air is smoky so you stay in Something’s burning you up within So you blow it up now So you blow it up now Slow down! Don’t wanna risk the roadkill Slow down! Don’t wanna risk being overkill Standing brick by brick Together we stick To make something bigger To make something bigger Slow down! Don’t wanna risk the roadkill Slow down! Don’t wanna risk being overkill Speed up! I just wanna drive while we still can Speed up! Leave the house while we still can
6.
Iowa 146 04:08
If I play you guitar, will everything fall away? If I play you guitar, any song you want me to play I’ll take my sweet time Getting all the notes right I’ll take my sweet time Getting all the notes right It’s been so long since I’ve seen your face For old times sake, I can’t replace But I could play you guitar And let it all fall away I could play you guitar And let it all fall away We’ve both grown and seen different kinds of things I can’t help reminiscing Power lines overhead Couldn’t wait to get you in bed On the top of your car Best night of your life, you said Take me back to the house where we lay Orange light fading through the window outside As you played me guitar, I watched it fall away As you played me guitar, I watched it fall away As you played me guitar, everything fell away
7.
Pass 03:42
Focus and you will find it Focus and you will find it It can be so amazing It can be so amazing But life here’s getting dull, And I don’t know how to pass my days anymore Lie down in the nighttime Rise up in the dawn Breathe in the morning Saw your blue car leaving To cross the bridge To the dirt dust waiting Filter through past Seasons changing And if I get caught there Will the color of the earth change? You crossed a line in the morning All 6 foot 2 shaking And your diamond arms Wrapped around me in a new way Nothing could stop me Stop me from leaving And I wailed the whole rest of the weekend Wrapped up in the nighttime Walking home through the lightning bugs Tornado came right down With no forewarning And carried me up to The constellation I’ll never get that howling sound Out of my ears I look down on where I lived All those years And I know the worst I know the worst is yet to come And I know the worst I know the worst is yet to come And I’m staying up I’m staying up I’m staying up I’m staying up Staying up all night Staying up all night To wrestle with it The good and the bad
8.
This car won’t drive the way I want Busted engine or busted lung Kicking myself for buying those parts Off of that guy back in Des Moines Before the drought started But I’ll get it fixed up soon enough And you’d better watch out for me Flying down the road in Flames and flat tires, baby Flames and flat tires This car won’t drive itself, I mean it could but I don’t try it, That’s the way you live And that shit’s on fire, baby Veering down cobblestone streets At 4 in the morning Firestorms busted both my headlights But I’m getting back on track soon enough And you better watch out for me! Flying down the road in Flames and flat tires baby Flames and flat tires Trying to recall how the rain felt on my skin And scream to anyone who’ll listen! Trying to recall how the rain felt on my skin And scream to anyone who’ll listen! Trying to recall how the rain felt on my skin And scream to anyone who’ll listen!
9.
I’ll take a walk and shake it off I can’t behave the way you want Look down the road, you’ll be seeing the back of my head This busted car can hold me It will and it does And nothing can compare To the sun in my two arms To be alone, what a feeling To be forgotten, what a feeling And I tried to remember how the rain felt I tried to remember how the rain felt ‘Cause it won’t fall again The ground will be cracked and drained And the only things growing Are the tension lines in your face No time to try and fertilize Saw you with floods in your eyes What happened to put you in such a state, my dear? Just take a walk and shake it off Feeling will be gone tomorrow And nothing can compare to the sun in your two arms To be alone, what a feeling To be forgotten, what a feeling To be alone, what a feeling To be forgotten, what a feeling And I won’t fall again I will be dry and drained When the only things growing Are the tensions lines in my face To be alone, what a feeling To be forgotten, what a feeling To be alone, what a feeling To be forgotten, what a feeling To be alone, what a feeling To be forgotten, what a feeling And I won’t feel again I won’t feel again Mmm mmm
10.
Desert wildflowers don’t need much to grow To be like that, oh, to be like that... I’ve seen the desert now, and I know I want the water Think of that, think of that... I’m not scared of the flood I’ll be there with open arms and my feet in the mud I’m not scared of the storm I’ll be lying on the roof when the tornado turns And the thunder screams I’m another piece of debris Flying above the town Closer to the stars than I am to the ground And I’m not scared of the water The rain is my parent and I am the daughter I’m not scared of the water The rain is my parent and I am the daughter I’m not scared of the water The rain is my parent and I am the daughter I’m not scared of the water The rain is my parent and I am the daughter Desert wildflowers don’t need much to grow To be like that, oh, to be like that…
11.
Night 04:40
Day in, day out Roll yourself over Day in, day out Roll your fingers together Haven’t seen the sun in months I don’t wanna breathe that air in my lungs And my candle’s burning down There is oil in the streets downtown And I won’t lie and say I’ve got another I won’t lie and say I’ve got another I won’t lie and say I’ve got another I won’t lie and say I’ve got another To the moon I wail of solitude And she spits on my head I won’t lie and say I’ve got another A wild dog Bombs and smoke hugging the ocean No shoes and Yellow hazy full moon So hot that even then In the night I stuck to me And my candle’s burning down There is oil in the streets downtown
12.
Starshine 05:03
You are the star And the starshine And I’m loving your moons, mmm Air all around me Spirits move And confound me Could I move you? Put that long list down Everything changes Don’t let it pass Don’t let it wither Don’t let it pass Don’t let it wither The sun doesn’t care If you made yourself small It’ll still burn It’ll still burn you It’ll still burn It’ll still burn you You are the star And the starshine And I’m loving your moods The moon’s rising Don’t let it pass Don’t let it wither Don’t let it pass Don’t let it wither

about

Squirrel Flower’s heart-rending sophomore album Planet (i), following her 2020 debut I Was Born Swimming, is exactly that. A singular planet, a world entirely of artist Ella 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. “Planet (i) is my body and mind,” Williams says, “and it’s the physical and emotional world of our planet. It’s both.” Buoyed by her steadfast vision and propelled by her burning comet of a voice, the record is a love letter to disaster in every form imaginable. Tornadoes, flooding, gaslighting assholes, cars on fire—these songs fully embrace a planet in ruin. As Williams rides from melancholy to jubilance to complete emotional devastation over the course of twelve songs, she carves out a future for herself and those she loves. Planet (i), out June 25, 2021 on Polyvinyl and Full Time Hobby, is at once a refuge, an act of self-healing, and a musical reflection of Squirrel Flower’s inner and outer worlds.

Williams wrote most of the songs on Planet (i) before the COVID-19 pandemic, but disaster looms large in its DNA. Susceptible to head injuries having played a lot of sports in her youth, Williams received three concussions from 2019-2020; two at cafe jobs in her home state of Massachusetts, and a third, funnily enough, while making out with someone in a sloped attic at a house show. Amidst the chaos of touring internationally during her own healing process, she began weaving threads between her physical and personal sense of ruin and her lifelong fear of the elements: of being swept up by storms, floods, and the deep ocean. “To overcome my fear of disasters,” Williams says, “I had to embody them, to stare them down.” This journey of decay and healing is the lifeblood of Planet (i). “I’m not scared of the storm,” she insists on “Desert Wildflowers.” “I’ll be lying on the roof when the tornado turns.”

Once quarantine set in, Williams, known for her magnetic live concerts, began to produce demos in her room, amassing a collection of more than 30 recordings. “I constantly write,” she says, “but because of the pandemic and the unemployment checks I received, I was able to spend every day recording what became the skeleton of this album.” Feeling a sense of artistic synchronicity over international phone calls with producer Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Perfume Genius), and with newfound covid antibodies, Williams flew to Bristol, UK in the fall of 2020 to record Planet (i) at Chant’s studio, The Playpen. “We had this shared creative language,” she recalls, “and the recording process was, like my demo process, very sculptural. Instead of recording live with a full band, we built this record layer by layer, experimenting, taking risks.” Williams dedicated her time in Bristol to exploration, both in the studio and outside of it. As she roamed the city in her beloved green garden mucks, the same boots featured on Planet (i)’s album art, Squirrel Flower unlocked a new creative alchemy.

While Williams and Chant played most of the instruments on the record, Bristol drummer Matt Brown and Portishead’s Adrian Utley also joined their sessions. “Adrian brought such stunning textures to the arrangements,” Williams says. “I was starstruck watching him play guitar with a pair of pliers.” And when Chant suggested the idea of backup vocals, Williams, whose voice had until now stood alone in her songs, enthusiastically enlisted friends and family to join her remotely with their voices and instruments. Around Squirrel Flower’s voice and vision dance the contributions of Jess Shoman (Tenci), Tomberlin, Katy J. Pearson, Jemima Coulter, Brooke Bentham, and her brothers Nate and Jameson Williams, as well as her father Jesse.

The songs on Planet (i) are Squirrel Flower’s instruments for connection: with the people in her life, her collaborators, audiences, and ancestors; a lineage of artists whose spirits continue to inform her art. At the heart of this record is an insistence on connection and healing in the face of catastrophe. Williams treats her songs like well-loved cars, vehicles with busted exteriors and flame-kissed engines. These songs hurtle down a freeway wracked by firestorms and flash floods, their drivers in search of human connection, no matter how tenuous, no matter how painful. In this search for communion, Squirrel Flower sings with the clarity of an artist who has discovered not only the precise power of her voice, but all the devastating shapes it can take.

On the explosive lead single “Hurt A Fly,” Williams is a volatile, relentless presence. She takes the persona of a manipulative lover as she lurches from guilt to sorrow to renewed fury, backed by whirring, frenetic guitars. And in “I’ll Go Running,” Williams begins on a haunting simmer, pitching her voice over languid, slow-burning guitars from quiet resistance to full-on emotional rebellion by the song’s end: “I’ll be newer than before / I’ll be something that you’ve never seen.” It’s the mantra of an artist in flux, obsessed with motion and change, but determined to move and change on her own terms. On “Flames and Flat Tires,” the third single, Williams rides this motion onward in a bright wave of sound, comparing her body to a burning car on a 4am joyride, the city crumbling behind her.

On Planet (i), Squirrel Flower reveals a bright and uncompromising vision, confident in her powers of self-healing and growth. No matter what the disaster ahead of or within her looks like, and no matter how she shape-shifts to meet it, Squirrel Flower will always be a world of her own, a space-rock flying down the road in flames and flat tires. As Planet (i) wheels to a close from the cartop lovesickness of “Iowa 146,” the floodwaters of “Deluge in the South,” and the tornado fury of “Pass,” to the hushed climax and acceptance of “Starshine,” she leaves us to face down disaster with hope in hand:

Don’t let it pass.
Don’t let it wither.

credits

released June 25, 2021

All music and lyrics written by Ella Williams.

Produced, engineered and mixed by Ali Chant at The Playpen, Bristol, UK in September/October 2020.

Mastered by Heba Kadry, NYC.

Additional production by Ella Williams.

Adrian Utley recorded at Planet 245, Bristol, UK.

Photography by Tonje Thilesen (www.instagram.com/tonjethilesen/).

Layout Design by Mac Pogue (macpogue.com).

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Squirrel Flower Boston, Massachusetts

management: mac@brilliantcorners.com

north america booking: wilson@highroadtouring.com

uk/eu booking: will@atc-live.com

photo by tonje thilesen

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