Ella O’Connor AKA: Squirrel Flower, 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.
Squirrel Flower’s forthcoming release I Was Born Swimming was tracked live, at The Rare Book Room Studio in New York City with producer Gabe Wax (Adrienne Lenker, Palehound, Cass McCombs). At the heart of the album lives Williams’ massive, haunted vibrating voice and melancholic, soulful guitar playing. The sounds expand and contract over diverse moods, cutting loose on the heavier riffs of “Red Shoulder” or “Streetlight Blues,” both recorded in her hometown of Boston, and holding back with atmospheric restraint on “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or “Belly Of The City”.
I Was Born Swimming begins with an Iowa drive down I-80 and continues to travel, poetically, between her college town of Grinnell Iowa, Boston, MA and New York City where the album was recorded. Throughout the 12 songs, landscapes change and relationships shift, “There’s so much in the record about movement and stagnation. Feeling stuck, needing to move, needing to stay still, swimming, falling, running, growing, etc etc.” said Williams.
Tue. Jan. 28 – London, UK @ The Islington
Fri. March 6 – Middletown, CT @ Mac 650 Art Gallery &
Sat. March 7 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott &
Wed. March 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade &
Thu. March 12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits &
Sat. March 13 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd &
Mon. March 23 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge *
Wed. March 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo *
Thu. March 26 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill *
Sat. March 28 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza *
Sun. March 29 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge *
Tue. March 31 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court *
Thu. April 2 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge *
Mon. April 6 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry *
Tue. April 7 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas *
Wed. April 8 – Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s *
Fri. April 10 – Toronto, ON @ Drake Hotel &
Sat. April 11 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo &
% = w/ Loving
*= w/ Why Bonnie
& = w/ Cedric Noel