Squirrel Flower, 'Flames And Flat Tires'

Jul 1, 2021
Polyvinyl Record Co. / YouTube

"You'd better watch out for me," Squirrel Flower, aka songwriter Ella Williams, warns on "Flames and Flat Tires," a grungy, standout single off the Chicago-based artist's sophomore album, Planet (i). On the track, Williams personifies a broken-down car, "firestorms busted both [her] headlights." But as the song builds and her guitar playing rips, devastates and churns, Williams takes control in the driver's seat. On the song — and across the album, which is "a love letter to disaster in every form imaginable," according to a press statement — Williams presents a proposition: When catastrophe strikes, should you stay and stare down the dumpster fire, or leave and abandon the mess all together? "Flames and Flat Tires" embraces that uncertainty, and as the song ends, Williams leaves us with the cleansing refrain: "trying to recall how the rain felt on my skin / and scream to anyone who'll listen."

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