Thoughtful, Jangly, Reverbtoned Songs From Squirrel Flower
Lo-fi tunesmith Ella Williams a.k.a. Squirrel Flower got the thumbs-up here a couple of months ago for her Planet (i) album. She works fast: her new one, the Planet ep, is streaming at Bandcamp. The music is more roughewn, spare and intimate this time out: there’s a ton of reverb on everything, including the vocals.
The opening track, Open Wound has spare slide guitar mingling with Williams’ spacious acoustic strums, building a moody nocturnal ambience. “I was an open wound looking for a good time,” she muses. Aren’t we all.
Track two, Your Love Is a Disaster is something everybody can relate to! It’s actually not a vindictive kiss-off but a reflective, nocturnal, gently jangly reflection. Williams works a desperate/depleted dichotomy in Unravel, a slow, echoey tableau and then channels a low-key afterwork ambience in Long Day’s Done. “You don’ t need to hold it in your hands to know what it’s worth,” Williams observes.
The album’s driftiest, most opaque song is Sitting in Traffic, although Ruby at Dawn, awash in Stereolab-style synth, is a close second, Williams winds up the album strongly with Live Wire: “Don’t slip, or skid, or move, or breathe, or laugh, or die, or turn, or touch me, don’t do anything,” she warns, “I’m a live wire.” It’s about as far from the AC/DC hit as you could imagine. Squirrel Flower’s next free-state gig is on March 4 at Ruins, 2653 Commerce St,, corner of Prior St. in Dallas, time/price tba