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Squirrel Flower

with Goon

January 21

12:00 am

$18 ADV / $20 DOS

Doors at 7PM

RSVP on Facebook
Squirrel Flower, Tomorrow’s Fire
Less than an hour south of Chicago, along the shores of Lake Michigan, sits the Indiana Dunes, a
protected expanse of shoreline recently designated a National Park. When Ella Williams first
visited the Dunes, she was awed by the juxtaposition of its natural splendor within the
surrounding industrial corridor of Northwest Indiana. “Every time I go there, it changes my life,”
she says, without a hint of hyperbole.“You stand in the marshlands and to your left is a steel
factory belching fire and to your right is a nuclear power plant.” Across the water, Chicago
waits, its glistening towers made possible by the same steel forged here. For as long as she’s
been making music, Ella Williams’ songs have been products of the environments they’re
written in, born out of the same world they so vividly hold a mirror to. This environment is
where her magnetic new album, Tomorrow’s Fire, lives.

The music Williams makes as Squirrel Flower has always communicated a strong sense of place.
Her selfreleased debut EP, 2015’s early winter songs from middle america, was written during
her first year living in Iowa, where the winter months make those of her hometown, Boston,
seem quaint by comparison. Since that first offering, Squirrel Flower has amassed a fanbase
beyond the Boston DIY scene and released two more EPs and two fulllengths. The most recent,
Planet (i), was laden with climate anxiety, while the subsequent Planet EP marked an important
turning point in Williams’ prolific career; the collection of demos was the first selfproduced
material she’d released in some time. With a renewed confidence as a producer, she helmed
Tomorrow’s Fire at Drop of Sun Studios in Asheville alongside storied engineer Alex Farrar
(Wednesday, Indigo de Souza, Snail Mail). Williams and Farrar tracked many of the instruments,
building the songs together during the first week, and then assembled a studio band that included
Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver), Seth Kauffman (Angel Olsen band), Jake Lenderman (aka MJ
Lenderman), and Dave Hartley (The War on Drugs) lending their contributions.

Before Tomorrow’s Fire, Squirrel Flower might’ve been labeled something like “indie folk,” but
this is a rock record, made to be played loud. As if to signal this shift, the album opens with the
soaring “i don’t use a trashcan,” a reimagining of the first ever Squirrel Flower song. Williams
returns to her past to demonstrate her growth as an artist and to nod to those early shows, when
her voice, looped and minimalistic, had the power to silence a room. Lead singles “Full Time
Job” and “When a Plant is Dying,” narrate the universal desperation that comes with living as an
artist and pushing up against a world where that’s a challenging thing to be. The frustration in
Williams’ lyrics is echoed by the music’s uninhibited, ferocious production. “There must be
more to life/ Than being on time,” she sings on the latter’s towering chorus. Lyrics like that one
are fated to become anthemic, and Tomorrow’s Fire overflows with them. “Doing my best is a
full time job/ But it doesn’t pay the rent” Williams sings on “Full Time Job” over careening
feedback, her steady delivery imposing order over a song that is, at its heart, about a loss of
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