SQUIRREL FLOWER – I Was Born Swimming LP/Single
by Walter Price
Stepping back a bit, January 2020 to be precise. A time before the world got all topsy-turvy. A pre-chaos era, when ethereal singer-songwriter Squirrel Flower [Ella Williams] dropped a powerfully delicate 12-track LP full of emotional vignettes that both float just above the skyline and sink deep into the soul.
Lush and subtle, beautiful and haunting, truthful and heartbreaking are intertwined within this albums walls. Produced by Gabe Wax, the songs breath in their natural coming to terms with life’s everchanging realties. With hints of era’s past AM radio soft pop and reaching operatic and jazz depths, this is an autobiographical album from the recent past you should sink yourself into.
To add some more weight to this LP, I’ll share this Bandcamp quote, “The album’s title was inspired by Williams’ birth on August 11th 1996 – the hottest day of the year – born still inside a translucent caul sac membrane, surrounded by amniotic fluid. Throughout the 12 songs, landscapes change and relationships shift. The album’s lyrics feel like effortless expressions of exactly the way it feels to change — abstract, determined and hopeful.”
You can stream the entire album as well witness its embracing embryonic film, directed by Williams herself, now at the GTC.
I Was Born Swimming
Artist photo by Maria Gelsomini
Written/Performed by Ella Williams
Produced by Gabe Wax
Music Video: Filmed, Directed, and Edited by Ella Williams
“Williams comes from a deep-rooted musical family tree. Her grandparents were classical musicians who lived in the Gate Hill Co-op, an artistic cooperative from upstate New York that grew out of Black Mountain College. Ella’s father, Jesse Williams, spent most of his life as a touring jazz and blues performer and educator and lends his bass playing to the album (listen for his smooth solo on “Headlights”). Growing up in a family of hard-working musicians fostered a love of music and started Williams down her own musical path. As a child, Williams adopted the alter ego of Squirrel Flower. A couple years later, she began singing with the Boston Children’s Chorus while studying music theory and teaching herself to play the guitar. As a teen, she discovered the Boston DIY and folk music scenes and began writing, recording, and performing her own songs, now returning to the name Squirrel Flower as her chosen moniker. By the time Williams had begun performing live, recording and touring she was already well on her way to the signature artful songcraft heard on the album.” – Polyvinyl Records (bio)