Cyrena Touros

There's an old writing exercise that involves describing a color without naming it; it challenges the writer to evoke the emotional primacy of a concept we often take for granted.

Rambling along the sidewalk on the way to a party, body alight, something catches the eye. "Bugs in the streetlight," Ella O'Connor Williams sings. "Our time is over soon."

Conventional wisdom says that this is not the sort of maxim typically uttered by a 23-year-old; nevertheless, this acute pang of mortality anchors "Streetlight Blues" and I Was Born Swimming, Ella O'Connor Williams' debut record as Squirrel Flower.

Pete Townshend: Not only is he the major creative force behind The Who, but he's also released several of his own solo records, prompted the first-known use of the term "rock opera" (for 1969's Tommy) and he's even credited with being the first person to smash a guitar on stage.