Squirrel Flower — the moniker of Massachusetts singer-songwriter Ella Williams — has released a pair of new songs, “Ruby at Dawn” and a cover of Björk’s “Unravel,” both of which will appear on her new Planet EP, out Jan. 28 via Polyvinyl.
Planet primarily features self-recorded demos of songs that didn’t make the final cut of Squirrel Flower’s latest album, Planet (i), as well as two songs that were recorded during the Planet (i) sessions but not included on the album. Capping it all off is the cover of Björk’s “Unravel,” which Squirrel Flower tackles with the slightest instrumental accompaniment, placing her layered, effects-laden vocals at the forefront.
Squirrel Flower also released a music video to accompany “Unravel,” with Williams saying in a statement: “I filmed the ‘Unravel’ video by projecting open source footage of underwater lava cooling into rock over myself. I love the way the lava unravels and moves, looks like yarn, looks like a heart. It represents to me the tension and pain and exuberance of love.”
“Ruby at Dawn,” meanwhile, begins with just vocals and a lone synth hum, but later blossoms with a clattering percussion, a soulful bass skip and layers of harmonies as Williams sings: “Ruby at dawn/Walked all of me home/Couldn’t tell the difference/Between our clothes.”
In a statement, Williams explained why she wanted to release her early demos and unused tracks on the Planet EP, saying: “I’ve always felt that the pieces and process and secrets behind a finished record are the most important parts. Most of these songs showcase my own production and exact vision, my first time in a long time releasing music that I’ve produced alone. Releasing this EP is an exercise in self-trust and experimentation. Not all songs need to be precious and kept for the exact right time, not all recordings need to be perfect.”
Squirrel Flower is set to embark on a North American tour early next year. The run launches Feb. 3 at Rose Bowl Tavern in Urbana, Illinois and wraps March 20 at 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis.
Planet EP Tracklist
1. “Open Wound”
2. “Your Love Is a Disaster”
4. “Long Day’s Done”
5. “Sitting in Traffic”
6. “Ruby at Dawn”
7. “Live Wire”