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Squirrel Flower|Tomorrow's Fire

Tomorrow's Fire

Squirrel Flower

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After the spacious meditation of "I Don't Use a Trash Can," Ella Williams kicks her ennui into full gear on "Full Time Hobby," its slow, chugging groove underpinning the "can't win" hopelessness of the lyrics. These two songs introduce Tomorrow's Fire, Williams' third label release under the name Squirrel Flower. Produced by Alex Farrar and featuring members of Bon Iver, Wednesday, and the War on Drugs, the album's feeling of overcast turbulence dovetails neatly with the sweet, yawning melodies that are one of Williams' trademarks. Boston-bred, but with an appreciation for the Midwest, her early releases recalled the winter plains of Iowa where she went to college. Tomorrow's Fire also turns to the Midwest for inspiration, namely the Indiana Dunes, a majestic stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline east of Chicago, abutted on either side by the steel mills of Gary and the Nipsco Power Plant of Michigan City. Fans of Squirrel Flower's woeful-yet-winsome songwriting won't be surprised by her rustbelt fascination. Her music is full of such juxtapositions. Like her two prior albums, Tomorrow's Fire is at once radiant and grungy, introspective and cathartic, hot and cold. Standout "Alley Light" is a daydreaming paean to escape while "Stick" refuses change at great cost. Simmering desire makes itself known in the hushed "Almost Pulled Away" and the mighty "Canyon," a common theme strung between two sonic poles. All of it is cloaked in a fug of fuzzed-out guitars and echo, yet no amount of rugged texture can dim the purity of Williams' dulcet voice. Tomorrow's Fire may be the most melancholic of Squirrel Flower's albums, but its sense of drama is captivating.

© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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Tomorrow's Fire

Squirrel Flower

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1
i don’t use a trash can
00:02:57

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

2
Full Time Job
00:01:57

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

3
Alley Light
00:03:14

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

4
Almost Pulled Away
00:04:17

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

5
Stick
00:03:02

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

6
When A Plant Is Dying
00:04:26

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

7
Intheskatepark
00:02:25

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

8
Canyon Explicit
00:03:42

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

9
What Kind Of Dream Is This?
00:04:04

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

10
Finally Rain
00:04:08

Squirrel Flower, MainArtist

2023 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2023 Polyvinyl Record Co.

Album review

After the spacious meditation of "I Don't Use a Trash Can," Ella Williams kicks her ennui into full gear on "Full Time Hobby," its slow, chugging groove underpinning the "can't win" hopelessness of the lyrics. These two songs introduce Tomorrow's Fire, Williams' third label release under the name Squirrel Flower. Produced by Alex Farrar and featuring members of Bon Iver, Wednesday, and the War on Drugs, the album's feeling of overcast turbulence dovetails neatly with the sweet, yawning melodies that are one of Williams' trademarks. Boston-bred, but with an appreciation for the Midwest, her early releases recalled the winter plains of Iowa where she went to college. Tomorrow's Fire also turns to the Midwest for inspiration, namely the Indiana Dunes, a majestic stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline east of Chicago, abutted on either side by the steel mills of Gary and the Nipsco Power Plant of Michigan City. Fans of Squirrel Flower's woeful-yet-winsome songwriting won't be surprised by her rustbelt fascination. Her music is full of such juxtapositions. Like her two prior albums, Tomorrow's Fire is at once radiant and grungy, introspective and cathartic, hot and cold. Standout "Alley Light" is a daydreaming paean to escape while "Stick" refuses change at great cost. Simmering desire makes itself known in the hushed "Almost Pulled Away" and the mighty "Canyon," a common theme strung between two sonic poles. All of it is cloaked in a fug of fuzzed-out guitars and echo, yet no amount of rugged texture can dim the purity of Williams' dulcet voice. Tomorrow's Fire may be the most melancholic of Squirrel Flower's albums, but its sense of drama is captivating.

© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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