The warm sound of Charles Ellsworth’s latest single brings to mind the hazy days of summer, a feeling enhanced by the gorgeous flowers visible throughout the video, worn on hats and in hair and surrounding Ellsworth’s face. ‘Trouble’ is built around a foot-tapping rhythm, which is energised by a fabulous bass-line from Jared Schapker. Over the top of these instrumental layers, Ellsworth’s vocal is full of character and melody and we are transported into his musical and personal world. ‘Trouble’ takes us back to a low point in Ellsworth’s life when he felt he wasn’t, “…fit to face another day of this.” Although Ellsworth sings of the troubles on his mind, there’s a real sonic brightness to the song that reflects the hope that becomes apparent as the song progresses: “I’ve been feeling so much lighter // Since I lost it all when I hit the ground. // I ain’t afraid no more. // I want to soak up the spring // And run through the summer again.”
Ellsworth shares his thoughts on the song and video: “‘Trouble’ is about my personal rock bottom and finding my way back from it. During the winter of 2019, I was in really bad shape, mental health wise. I found myself drowning in debt, self-medicating with alcohol, and I had this overwhelming feeling of doom. I had somehow convinced myself I wasn’t going to survive the winter. One day I was running late to work and I had a flat tyre on my bike, so I had to walk the mile through Brooklyn to the bar that I worked/fed my alcohol addiction at. A couple blocks into the walk I got warm and had to take off my jacket. A few blocks later I noticed it was actually a really nice day. By the end of the walk I knew that it was the first real day of spring, and I’d somehow survived the winter. I’ll never forget that morning. ‘Trouble’ is about my journey from self-hatred, destruction, and darkness to a place of hope. It’s about how no matter how dark it gets, the only thing required of you in any given moment is to breathe. It’s about learning to trust yourself enough to just stitch one moment to the next until you’ve made your way through an evening you thought you couldn’t, or a winter you didn’t think you’d survive. For the video, I wanted to try and play that morning up a little bit. I’d spent a lot of this past summer getting footage of different flowers I’d come across while walking my dog and I thought this would be a great use for it. An over the top reminder for myself to literally try to stop and smell the flowers, and when all else fails to remember to be present, and remember to breathe.”
The single is taken from Ellsworth’s new album ‘Honeysuckle Summer’, which is out now. Several records into his career, Ellsworth’s songwriting has moved on, mirroring the changes in his personal life. His stories are more reflective and, ultimately, more hopeful; ‘Trouble’ is great example. If you’re looking for a song that captures the indomitable human spirit, that takes us on a positive journey to a more hopeful future, and that does it with a great tune that sounds immediately familiar, then this is for you. Check it out.