Chicago-based musician Squirrel Flower aka Ella Williams has just shared her classy, brooding cinematic video, ‘Alley Light’, taken from her forthcoming album, Tomorrow’s Fire, out on 13th October via Full Time Hobby (Polyvinyl in the US). Describing her music as ‘witch rock,’ this track has all the signs of being an instant classic. Despite its vintage sheen, ‘Alley Light’ captures the universal feelings of loss that come with living in a 21st-century city. Williams cites artists like Bruce Springsteen as fonts of inspiration for Tomorrow’s Fire, musicians who knew how to write into the mind of a stranger, who could tell you the story of a life in under four minutes. She cites artists like Bruce Springsteen as fonts of inspiration for Tomorrow’s Fire; musicians who knew how to write into the mind of a stranger, who could tell you the story of a life in under four minutes.
Nowhere is this heard more clearly than on ‘Alley Light‘, an electrifying song narrated from the perspective of a down-on-his-luck guy whose car is fated to die any day, and whose girl just wants to escape. he accompanying ‘Alley Light’ video is helmed by Weird Life Productions and features the artwork and studio of Gwen Yen Chiu.
Williams said, “This song is about the man in me, or a man who I love, or a man who is a stranger to me. The video references a neo-noir Chicago heist movie where they use this thermal metal contraption to cut into a safe. They run around the city making sparks fly and getting up to no good. I wanted to do all that.”
While her early work was often hushed and minimal, there has always been a barely contained storm in her music. Tomorrow’s Fire is that storm breaking open, a record made to be played loud. Tomorrow’s Fire glides effortlessly over emotional states of being, lightness and heaviness, and cements Willaims’ status as one of indie rock’s finest songwriters.
Its title references that of a novel Williams’ great-grandfather Jay wrote about a troubadour, named after a line by the Medieval French poet Rutebeuf, a troubadour himself: “Tomorrow’s hopes provide my dinner/ Tomorrow’s fire must warm tonight”. Centuries on, the quote spoke to Williams, who describes the fire as a tool to wield in the face of nihilism. Tomorrow’s Fire is what we take solace in, what we know will make us feel okay in the morning, how we light the path we’re walking on.
Squirrel Flower will tour the UK in November, including at set Pitchfork Music Festival alongside Porridge Radio, Sorry, Wednesday and more. See tour dates below https://www.squirrelflower. net/#tour
UK Tour dates
4- Bristol @ Rough Trade
5 – Brighton @ The Hope and Ruin
6 – Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
7 – Manchester @ Gullivers
9 – Edinburgh @ Voodoo Rooms
11 – London @ EartH, Pitchfork Music Festival – TICKETS
13 Nov – Paris, FR @ Supersonic
15-Rotterdam, NL @ V11
16 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique
18 – Berlin, DE @ Lark
Tomorrow’s Fire is out on 13th October. Pre-order here: https://squirrelflower. bandcamp.com/album/tomorrow-s- fire
Photo credit: Alexa Viscius