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Squirrel Flower Mulls Desolation and Determination on ‘Flames and Flat Tires’

Massachusetts singer-songwriter Squirrel Flower has released a new song, “Flames and Flat Tires,” from her upcoming album, Planet (i), out June 25th via Polyvinyl.

The track is anchored by a grungy guitar strum and slightly off-kilter drums, while Squirrel Flower sweetly sings lyrics in which she compares herself to a burning car: “And you’d better watch out for me/Flying down the road in/Flames and flat tires, baby/Flames and flat tires/This car won’t drive itself/I mean it could but I don’t try it.”

In a statement, Squirrel Flower’s Ella Williams said: “I wrote ‘Flames and Flat Tires’ on my second day of quarantine in Bristol, England, ahead of recording. It was late August, hot, I was staying in a place that opened onto a party street, and every night I stayed up listening to the sounds of the revelers and the birds squawking and screaming until 6 a.m., then all day watched people hanging laundry in their backyards through my kitchen window. This was one of those tunes that just falls out.”

“Flames and Flat Tires” also arrives with a music video, directed by Lua Borges, that pairs Squirrel Flower’s performance of the song with scenes of decay and abandonment. “This video is encased by the imagery of broken parts and abandonment,” Borges said. “Objects that have become useless. Physical matter that looks so small inside our world. It gives life to an internal feeling of self-doubt and uncertainty, which the song approaches so intently. But ‘Flames and Flat Tires‘ is also about fighting to overcome that, and staying present fully. In a way, everything that gets discarded needs to immediately use its strength of survival.”

“Flames and Flat Tires” is the third offering from Planet (i), following “I’ll Go Running” and “Hurt a Fly.” Squirrel Flower recorded the new album at Ali Chant’s studio in Bristol, England, the Playpen; it features contributions from Portishead’s Adrian Utley, drummer Matt Brown, Tenci’s Jess Shoman, Tomberlin, Katy J. Pearson, Jemima Coulter, and Brooke Bentham. Williams’ brothers, Nate and Jaemson, as well as her father, Jesse, also appear on the record.

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