“Trouble,” the new single and video from LA-based singer/songwriter Emily Zuzik is a raw muscular power chord delight that recalls the best of 90’s era Sheryl Crow, with a storyline of someone who’s ready to jump into the game of love and, if need be, duke it out.
“Don’t feed me that line/your game’s as good as mine,” she sings in the pre-chorus before delivering a knockout punch in the chorus. “Something’s gotta give, something’s gotta change/ I can’t fight my way out of this situation/And I don’t mind a little bit of complication/Baby I like the trouble.”
“It was in a very different chapter of my life- single, living on my own in the East Village, a lot of night life,” Zuzik says of the song’s genesis. “My friend and co-writing partner Benji Rogers asked me ‘what do I write about?’ I remember saying “sex” and the games people play in the courtship or hook up game–how things go wrong, the excitement, the tease, etc. We had both worked as bartenders and had seen this all the time across the bar. Once we had the idea, the song came together fairly quickly. You’ve got to love a rocker that takes on the game of lust or love.”
The track was recorded at The Station House in Echo Park, CA with her band, which includes her producer Ted Russell Kamp, along with John Schreffler, Christopher Allis, Brian Whelan and Hilary Hearty. An earlier version of the song was recorded in New York City with her co-writer Rogers, and also featured Rob Calder, Josh Kessler and Matt Johnson.
Zuzik hails from Pennsylvania and spent time in New York and San Francisco before settling in Los Angeles. With over a dozen solo albums and collaborations, multiple sync licenses and more under her belt, Zuzik’s energy is still on the live stage. “I feed off the energy between listener and performer, and I love having room to move around on the stage.”
Zuzik’s music is a melting pot of Americana, R&B, and classic rock and country, with David Bowie, James Brown, John Lennon and Dolly Parton among her influences and role models. Bowie’s chameleon-like approach to music particularly hits home for Zuzik.
“I love that he transformed and created in so many genres. I tend to be attracted to songwriters who work in many styles. It’s what I’ve always done. I think adaptability and the curiosity to keep changing is both creative and rewarding. Bowie did this so many times over the course of his career. He changed his look, his sound, his band. It’s going to turn some listeners off, but frankly, I think if you hang on and allow yourself to go further, it’s a better experience. I tend to think this about life in general though. I think he also wasn’t afraid to do things and fail. That, in my mind, is bravery. I strive for that.”
Zuzik promises her 10-song collection entitled Torch & Trouble, will tackle themes of “hope, redemption & faith in love even as we face daily conflict, change and challenge.” It is scheduled for release this coming May.
Photo credit: Karman Kruschke