With I Was Born Swimming, Squirrel Flower emerges from the Boston DIY scene with a full-fledged songwriting palette and vision. The twelve tracks on the record are a blast from the past, feeling like they came straight out of the legendary folk scene of the early ’60s. The highlight here is Ella O’Connor Williams’ gorgeous vocals and poetic lyricism.
In anticipation of I Was Born Swimming Williams sat down to talk 100 Gecs, steampunk, and Skrillex in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Slow, magnetic, flood, fly.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
Iowa City, IA.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
My grandfather Chris. I fell asleep listening to his lute recordings every night when I was younger and still recall them every day. He taught me the importance of living a creative life.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
In my own house!
What album do you know every word to?
100 Gecs – 1000 Gecs.
Where is home?
What is the first song you ever played in front of an audience?
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
If we’re being honest, Skrillex when I was 14. I moshed so hard and went to school the next morning.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Anything comfortable with a tiny bit of shimmer and big stomping boots.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
“Official” – Charli XCX
What’s the last thing you Googled?
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Carole King’s Tapestry.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
A friend’s stepfather’s haunted mansion attic.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
My first tattoo was a stick+poke of the venus symbol when I was 15, done with my friend Natasha. All of my tattoos are my favorites, they’re a mix of stick+pokes from my friends and meaningful designs done by super talented artists (although those two are not mutually exclusive)!
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
I was in a fight with my friend Sidney. I got home and he had left a bottle of Pine Sol next to my bed (that shit is the best smelling thing in the world, and he knew I loved it, and we immediately made up.)
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
Maybe don’t swim in that pond that is known for having muskrats.
What’s the last show you went to?
Night Moth, Joyer, Pulsr, and Sundog at the Farm in Allston.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
I actually don’t have a TV but I love watching anything by Jim Jarmusch…
I Was Born Swimming is out January 31 on Polyvinyl. Order it here.