Ellie Turner “When the Trouble’s All Done”

Independent, 2023

Turner’s sweet voice and breathy vocals alongside gentle acoustics make for a captivatingly intimate album.

Ellie Turner may have started on her musical journey relatively late in life – she didn’t fall in love with folk until she started college and only moved to Nashville and made music her career at 26 in 2018 – but with her first album ‘When the Trouble’s All Done’, she certainly knew how she wanted things done: to embrace any imperfections while recording and capture a singular performance on each track. The results of this approach on the 10-tracks are startling, with every track feeling fresh and utterly immediate.

“I love you still / I always will,” Turner opens on the harmonica laden ‘One More Day’, her voice rich with an aching sweetness that somehow manages to never become cloying. This ability to keep the sweet from being sickly is especially impressive on ‘The “I Love You” Song’ which, as the title suggests, is brimming with different ways to profess love (“I love you by the river / I love you sittin’ by a stream / I love you when I’m wide awake / And I love you when I dream” being just a small snapshot).

The fragility ‘Wandering’ holds is evident the moment that Turner lets out her first shaky vocal. “Mighty river ever winding / I will follow where you lead / Give me respite on my journey / Be my sweet company,” she sings, accompanied by producer Jack Schneider who provided not only harmony vocals, but also guitar. ‘A Little Farther Down the Line’ tells the story of two lovers whose fates mean they will never end up together (“You got me clinging to a vision / But it’s falling out of view / I know I can’t hold on forever / To the love that we once knew”), while the winding ‘Katabatic’ (a term for a downward wind) sees Turner’s mind wander to feelings for a past love.

‘If That Ocean’s Still Blue’ is sparse in its arrangement with Spanish guitar, the lyrics that speak of heartbreak and Turner’s voice seemingly effortlessly doing all the heavy lifting. The single cover on the album is of Bob Dylan’s ‘Oh, Sister’ and Turner’s voice, sweet and high, adds a hint of worry and uncertainty that isn’t felt in the original. Finally, the closing track (the titular ‘When the Trouble’s All Done’) feels like a kind of lullaby, calmly assuring that everything will be alright given time; “Now I know that you’re tired / Come and lay down your head / See the pink muhly grass flying / High above our bed / And we’ll sing of the good years and wait on that sun / Cause soon it’ll be here when the trouble’s all done,” Turner croons soothingly and reassuringly to close out the record.

“Recording this album live to tape was a very conscious decision made by myself and Jack Schneider who produced the album,” Turner reflected. “We were set on the idea of each song being a little time capsule through which we could go back and access a specific moment.” Indeed, with songs that feel intimate, but completely transportive, ‘When the Trouble’s All Done’ is testament to the idea that smooth and shiny perfection is vastly overrated and in reality, the things that we perceive as flaws are what make things truly beautiful.



About Helen Jones 134 Articles
North West based lover of country and Americana.
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