TRACK BY TRACK: Squirrel Flower Takes You Through Her Stunning New Album 'Planet (i)'

25 June 2021 | 2:27 pm | Squirrel Flower

Boston indie folk songstress Squirrel Flower has conjured magic once again with her divine new album 'Planet (i)' out in the world right now. And today, she takes us through the new release with this exclusive track by track to share its journey between affirmation, imposter syndrome and the everyday across the space of twelve tracks.

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I’ll Go Running 

This song is the opening track because it's about sharing music; the pressure to share things brand new, be cutting edge, groundbreaking. To also be vulnerable and give everything away. It's sort of about putting everything into something and getting nothing in return. It's also sort of an affirmation, I will be newer than before, I'm setting the scene for the album. It's really about the tension between reinvention and criticising the need for reinvention. 

Hurt A Fly 

I wrote Hurt A Fly from the perspective of somebody else, so it's sort of sarcastic in a way. It's really interesting to embody other people in songs, especially people who've hurt you. Trying to understand what they were thinking... as well as making fun of them and their narcissism. It's about trying to skirt around accountability and the emotional gymnastics some people do to justify their behaviour.

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Finding trinkets, reminders of the old life in the deluge, in the flood. Thirsty, secretly gulping water from the gutter. Cards floating in the gutter. Mundane task of painting the house, trying to forgive somebody. Hummingbird dead, face down in the water. Need the water to drink but the water also destroys. Water, the literal single necessity for life but also possesses the ability to end life. This one was definitely inspired by all the folk/country music I was listening to at the time, mainly Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams.

Big Beast

Big Beast starts as a pastoral, mid-summer song. Driving. The big beast is my 15 passenger van, which I love. I bought it for touring in January of 2020 and used it for one week of tour before COVID hit. Now it's just my regular car and I feel cool as fuck driving it around everywhere. At the mid-point in the song, it switches, jerks, whiplashes, to this immense turmoil, this apocalypse, these storm clouds. I wanted to capture the feeling of a specific memory of standing on a field with my mom, staring up at this massive storm cloud that was self-contained, had lightning all around and inside it, but outside of the storm cloud was just normal clear sky. It was terrifying - this lone energetic mass hovering above us. 


This one is sort of about imposter syndrome. Questioning, can I do it do? Being surprised when you can. It's about taking risks, but wait, slow down, be careful, don’t want to risk the roadkill, or being overkill. The risks of going fast, living without fear. I wrote most of this song pre-pandemic, but the last line I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic. My brother came over to me and said 'do you want to go driving around the city while we still can?' and it really struck me. It's so important to take advantage of things and adventures and life and energy - you gotta drive while you still can. 

Iowa 146

A simple nostalgic song. I wanted it to feel like a person picking on an old acoustic guitar at 4am on the enclosed porch at the party while people are half passed out smoking cigarettes silently. That intimacy, that love. The guitar as a way to communicate with others. It's also a specific memory of being in rural Iowa with a lover, drinking beer on the top of their car at night in the middle of the cornfields. I wrote this when I was diving into my own memories as a way to escape the present - like watching a movie almost. 


The challenges of daily life. Try and you can find meaning in routine, the daily parts of life that add up to something amazing. It’s just lie down, wake up, lie down, wake up. Is this how life passes? Getting stuck filtering through past memories. One of them is the terror I felt one night walking across a massive empty field on my way home in Iowa, cloudless sky, could see the Milky Way. I thought I was going to fall into the sky.  All these memories… I know more is yet to come, both the good and the bad. When I wrote it I was literally staying up all night, trying to parse out memories and trying to embrace the bad, the good, and lean into the bad instead of running away from it. 

Flames & Flat Tires

This one is a redemption song. The rickety car, fucked up and broken but speeding down the road as fast as possible. I had this image of barrelling through life in an apocalyptic drought, barely crashing into buildings, just going faster and faster, car on fire, tires flat, pieces of metal falling off, just careening through, trying to remember how rain felt and scream about it to anyone who would listen. That's how I feel a lot of the time about my music - screaming to anyone who'll listen. 

To Be Forgotten

The beauty of being alone and forgotten, independent, self love, it’s all enough. The feeling of the warm sun on your skin. Ali, the producer, thought “to be forgotten” referenced “the right to be forgotten,” which is a bill in the UK that says a person has the right to erase their data that is held on the Internet via cookies, tracking, etc. This really stunned me. The fact that we have to have the right to be forgotten. So it became sort of about the right to just disappear - your data, and also as a metaphor to just go and leave and start anew in real life. To have no strings attached. The outro is influenced by the music I grew up hearing my family and extended family play: Renaissance/early music, lute, recorder, acoustic bass.

Desert Wildflowers

Desert Wildflowers was the first song I wrote for the album, in July of 2019. I'd just returned from a month long tour (the last DIY tour I ever did) and it was just an absolutely insane time. I saw the desert of California for the first time, there was massive flooding in the Midwest, we were driving on the highway literally through what looked like a miles long lake, billboards rising out of the water, insane rain storms, tornado warnings... I was so struck by everything I saw, and when I got home I sat down and wrote this song. 


This song was partially inspired by this night I went to the beach with a few friends in the middle of an insane heatwave and it was 95 degrees at 10pm. We drove up to the beach one hour north of Boston in my friend’s car with her dog. The beach we went to had this huge carnival/arcade next to it, and there was an army ship out on the ocean setting off a massive firework display. The dog was freaking out because of the fireworks. The fireworks left the air so smoky, miles out off the shore, combined with the haze of the insane heat, the moon rose as this full grapefruit, it was the brightest red-yellow-orange I’d ever seen. Looked like death, like apocalypse. I jumped into the ocean. Swimming in the ocean is a big fear of mine, the feeling of the depths, not being able to see what’s there - I dove in headfirst... the ocean was black, the air was so thick and smoky. Even the Atlantic ocean was hot. I treaded water and looked out at the expanse, terrified, revelling in it. 


I wrote this in April 2020 after a tarot reading with my great aunt/godmother Vici. I was in a really dark place at the time and the reading was essentially saying: remember that your ancestors are all around watching you all the time. Nature too - the eternal energy of everything is everywhere, always. Don’t let it pass, don’t let it wither. There’s no use trying to make yourself small, to hide from the pains of life, you’ll still be burned by the sun, you’ll still experience loss and sadness and all and everything that is the ebb and flow of life.

Planet (i) is out now. To stream the album in full, check it out below.