In the past few weeks the coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc on the live music industry, cancelling nearly every tour and leaving many artists without their usual sources of income. Beyond the disastrous effects it's had on both human health and the economy, it's deprived us of an important element of human culture— live music. As one of the last shows in Brooklyn before cancellations began, Squirrel Flower's performance at Rough Trade was a comforting respite from uncertain times and a stark reminder of how important live music is. With a lower-than-usual turnout in the wake of the crisis, the set felt uniquely intimate and emotional. Loud, distorted guitars stood in contrast with at-time deafening silence, creating a perfect backdrop for Ella O'Connor Williams singular voice. Tracks from her latest record, I Was Born Swimming, were rendered in all of their stripped-back, echoing beauty, and album highlights "Red Shoulder" and "Slapback" thrived in a live environment. It may have been quasi-apocolyptic backdrop the or simply the bands penchant for creating an atmosphere, but the show felt remarkably consequential— like a gathering of revelers at the end of the world.
Squirrel Flower at Rough Trade
An intimate and emotional set at one Brooklyn's last shows before cancellations.