Ten Questions with Squirrel Flower (at Reverb Saturday); new And How music, tonight with Thick Paint…

Category: Blog,Interviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:05 pm March 16, 2022
Squirrel Flower plays at Reverb Lounge Saturday, March 19.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Chicago by way of Boston’s Squirrel Flower a.k.a. Ella Williams has been writing and recording indie folk music since 2015, but broke through the waves with 2020’s I Was Born Swimming (Polyvinyl) that Paste Magazine called a record “you’ll want to sink into, like a warm bath or maybe a 4 p.m. ocean that’s been baking in the hot sun all day.”

She followed it up with Planet (i) (Polyvinyl, 2021), of which Allmusic said, “Themes of personal, meteorological, and environmental disaster scud like silver clouds over the album’s panoramic arrangements in a tenuous, but pleasingly textural way.” In fact, the record’s one-sheet called it “a love letter to disaster in every form imaginable. Tornadoes, flooding, gaslighting assholes, cars on fire—these songs fully embrace a planet in ruin.”

Sound depressing? Yeah, it can be. But most of Planet (i) is acoustic-riff indie rock that fits alongside acts like Cassandra Jenkins or Tomberlin at their quieter moments. It’s a pretty record that feels like a long, contemplative road trip, dusty and afternoon-sun lit, lost along an empty Highway 30.

Expect to hear tracks off this one when she rolls into Reverb Saturday night, as well as songs off her just release follow-up EP, Planet (Polyvinyl), which consists of outtakes from the Planet (i) sessions and a cover of Bjork’s “Unravel.”

We caught up with Williams and asked her the Ten Questions. Here’s her rather minimal responses:

What is your favorite album?

Squirrel Flower’s Ella Williams: Nebraska by Springsteen 😉

What is your least favorite song?

Happy Birthday

What do you enjoy most about being in a band?

Playing music with them 

What do you hate about being in a band?

Literally nothing !

What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?

Bagel with cream cheese

In what city or town do you love to perform?

Chicago! Where I live right now. 

What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?

I’ve never had a bad gig but one time I played in Sioux City, Iowa, and we got caught in the craziest rain storm ever. Full rivers flowing on the street while we were loading out.

Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?

I have very low living costs and teach and work catering/restaurant gigs from time to time. It took a long time to get to the point of only needing a bit of side work here and there.

What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?

I worked as a carpenter’s assistant for a bit, which I really loved. Would like to go into carpentry maybe. I would hate to be in finance or be a coder. 

What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?

Mainly just nice tales from my friend Paige, who grew up on a goat farm outside of Omaha! Can’t wait to play in Omaha. 

Squirrel Flower plays with Tenci Saturday, March 19, at Reverb Lounge. Tickets are $15, showtime is 8 p.m. This is a No Vax No Entry show, so bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

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Omaha band And How released a new track off a forthcoming album with no set release date (that I know of). Produced/recorded by Ian Aeillo, who gave me the tip, the song was recorded at the old Enamel Studios (and I’m sure there’s a good story behind that). When we’ll hear more tracks from these sessions is a mystery, as I’m told frontman Ryan Menchaca has his hands full with this project and touring with Thick Paint. Fingers crossed that both bands play at this year’s Petfest…

Speaking of which, tonight And How plays with Thick Paint and Masonjixx (headliner) at Reverb Lounge. $15, 8 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2022 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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