Trouble (Natalia Kills song)

Last updated

Song by Natalia Kills
from the album Trouble
Released3 September 2013 (2013-09-03)
Genre Pop rock
Producer(s) Jeff Bhasker

"Trouble" is a song recorded by English singer and songwriter Natalia Kills for her second studio album of the same name (2013), appearing on it as its closing track. The song's lyrics were written about bad behavior and trouble, while musically, "Trouble" is a midtempo '90s-esque pop rock number that emulates arena rock. The overall sound of the song was praised by contemporary music critics, who also highlighted its placement on the album track listing.


The song has been performed by Kills in some live events. Despite not having been released as a single, director Emile Rafael filmed a video for "Trouble", that explores Kills and her on-screen boyfriend's use of recreational drugs and their relationship; it was released in February 2014. Martin Kierszenbaum produced a remix of "Trouble" which features electronic musician Peaches.

Background and release

"Trouble" was recorded at Enormous Studios and Record Plant, both located in Los Angeles, California. It was written by Kills and American record producer Jeff Bhasker, who also produced the song. Additional production was provided by Emile Haynie and Guillaume Doubet, who along with Bhasker, programmed all the musical instruments played in the song. Guitars were played by Bhasker and Jimmy Messer; keyboards and background vocals were helmed by the former. He also mixed the song. Audio engineering was handled by Bhasker and Pawel Sek, while mastering was done by Chris Athens at the Chris Athens Masters, located in Austin, Texas. [1]

"Trouble" was first unveiled online on the same day of the release of its eponymous parent album, on the website Idolator. [2] The release of an official third single for the album was made with the announcement of a fan contest, in which fans were asked to design or draw "interpretations" of the singer, however no winners were announced as of April 2014. [3] The track was also included in the 2014 compilation Now That's What I Call Music! 49 . [4] While Idolator has also referred to it as the album's third single, no official release proceeded. [5]

Composition and reception

Musically, "Trouble" is an anthemic midtempo song, [6] that is styled in the genre of 90s influenced pop rock. [2] [7] The singer's voice in the song was deemed "raspier" and "more exhausted" than in the other album tracks, which are also heard during the "singalong hook". [2] The song's instrumentation utilizes stadium drums, [2] guitars and keyboards, [1] while background vocals resemblant of choirs—and serve as arena rock elements—sing "whoas" repeatedly. [2] Lyrically, Kills speaks of bad behavior and trouble, [7] while searching an alibi and a friend. Jake Buck of Vada described it as being "the perfect ending to represent the album’s entire theme of badass, rawness, [and] honesty". [8] Bradley Stern from MuuMuse described it as "Ryan Tedder-meets-Fun" while observing that the "cinematic quality" of Lana Del Rey's music was present in the track. [6]

Idolator editor Sam Lansky was very positive about "Trouble", favoring the "anthemic sound", which he described as evoking the catalog of English indie rock band Florence and the Machine. [9] Bradley Stern from MuuMuse deemed it a "perfect way to close a celebration of imperfection", and compared it to the music of the band fun. [10] For MTV Buzzworthy, Stern listed the song as second in his list of the "5 Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week". [7]

Music video

Emile Rafael directed the official music video for "Trouble", with cinematography by Charlie Herranz. [11] During an interview with Elle , Kills talked on the concept she went with for the visual. Kills revealed that she left her birthplace of Bradford in England at the age of 14, in order to pursue her desire of having a better life, with a good boyfriend and life; however she only felt "closer to betterness" in parties, where she was exposed to recreational drugs. She started to consume them and she felt better with them for "a few short hours". "They make you feel better, so the minute the high wears off you want more. But what's wrong with wanting more?", Kills reflected. "More happiness, more power or freedom or love if you know that it's obtainable without the hard work, rejection and bullshit? [.....] Sometimes it feels that reality is bad—much worse than the drug that helps you escape it for a few short hours." She further explained that she wanted to create an "honest video that showed both [her] realities with all the disaster, delusion, and desire." [12] The video was released on 19 February 2014 on Kills' Vevo and YouTube accounts. [13]

The video begins with Kills walking around on a bridge, as she reminisces about her relationship with her boyfriend. As the song builds up to the first verse, they are depicted in the living room of a hazy-looking apartment, and Kills smiles at him, who kisses her. They start to involve physically, however he pushes her away and opts to smoke a cigar; Kills, simultaneously, takes several pills. As they start to hallucinate, images of dilated pupils appear quickly on the screen and they are shown on the same setting dressed formally. They leave the apartment and drive to a bar—still smoking—and as they reach there, Kills observes an empty stage and decides to sing there. She keeps hallucinating and sees herself in a golden dress as opposed to what she is actually dressing—a black T-shirt. As she continues to sing, a short-haired man who is watching her performance smiles at her and hits on her. Kills' on-screen boyfriend walks up to him and they start a fight while Kills sings. A few moments after, Kills—who was oblivious to the fight—tries to break them up but gets hit by her boyfriend, and leaves the bar crying. He pursues her and they both argue inside their car. They abruptly stop arguing and begin having sexual intercourse. As the song reaches its end, Kills and her boyfriend are again in their apartment, where she spills a bottle of vodka on the ground. After looking at him, she lights it which causes the apartment to burn. [13]

Writing for MTV News, Brad Stern opined that the visual was a "big Parental Advisory warning in motion" due to its explicit themes, and found it resemblant of Quentin Tarantino's filmography. [14] Idolator's Mike Wass deemed the video "visually arresting" and recognized it as Kills' "most fully realized" videoclip. [15]

Live performances

On 21 November 2013, Kills performed album songs "Trouble", "Saturday Night" and "Marlboro Lights" at the studios of New Zealand radio station The Edge. [16] In February of the following year, Kills performed at the Cherrytree Records House lounge. During the performance, Kills sung in an acoustic setting, where she was accompanied solely by a guitar. Bradley Stern from Idolator praised her vocal performance—he wrote that she had previously "prove[n] herself as a capable live vocalist" and that the Cherrytree House performance was "no exception". [5]

Credits and personnel

Recording places

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Trouble, Cherrytree Records. [1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Trouble (Media notes). Natalia Kills. United States: Cherrytree Records. 2013.{{cite AV media notes}}: |access-date= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Lansky, Sam (3 September 2013). "Natalia Kills' "Trouble": Idolator Premiere". Idolator. Spin Media . Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  3. "Natalia Kills Cover Artwork Contest". Cherrytree Records. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  4. "NOW That's What I Call Music, Vol. 49 — Various Artists". iTunes Store. Apple . Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  5. 1 2 Stern, Bradley (17 February 2014). "Natalia Kills Performs "Trouble" Live At Cherrytree House: Idolator Premiere". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  6. 1 2 Stern, Bradley (12 March 2013). "That Girl Is A God Damn Problem: The Return of Natalia Kills". MuuMuse. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  7. 1 2 3 Stern, Brad (3 September 2013). "Celine Dion, Natalia Kills, Tensnake + More: 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs Of The Week". MTV Buzzworthy. MTV (Viacom Media Networks). Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  8. Buck, Jake (7 September 2013). "That Natalia Kills is a Goddamn Problem". Vada. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  9. Lansky, Sam (3 September 2013). "Natalia Kills' 'Trouble': Album Review". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  10. Stern, Bradley (September2013). "Natalia Kills: Trouble (Album Review)". MuuMuse. Retrieved 12 January 2014.{{cite web}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. "Natalia Kills - 'Trouble'". Charlie Herranz. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  12. Catarinella, Alex (24 February 2014). "Natalia Kills Isn't Just Another Pretty-Faced Pop Star". Elle . Hachette Filipacchi Media . Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  13. 1 2 Rafael, Emile (19 February 2014). Trouble. YouTube (Google). Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  14. Stern, Brad (21 February 2014). "Natalia Kills' NSFW 'Trouble' Video Is The Very Definition Of Trouble". MTV News. Viacom Media Networks . Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  15. Wass, Mike (19 February 2014). "Natalia Kills Fights Her Demons In Gritty "Trouble" Video: Watch". Idolator. Spin Media. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  16. "Natalia Kills live at The Edge - 'Saturday Night', 'Marlboro Lights' & 'Trouble'". The Edge. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  17. 1 2 "Natalia Kills – Trouble [Cherry Cherry Boom Boom Remix]". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation . Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  18. Perfectionist (CD). Natalia Kills. Cherrytree. 2011.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  19. Kills, Natalia (21 February 2014). "The Checklist". Nylon . Jaclynn B. Jarrett. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  20. Cherrytree (23 February 2014). "Cherry Cherry Boom Boom remix of Natalia Kills' "Trouble" ft. Peaches (produced by Cherrytree's Martin Kierszenbaum) Hits No. 1 on hypemachine's Twitter Chart". Cherrytree Records. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  21. "Trouble (Cherry Cherry Boom Boom Remix) [feat. Peaches] - Single – Natalia Kills". iTunes Store. Apple. 8 April 2014.
  22. "Trouble (Cherry Cherry Boom Boom Remix) [feat. Peaches]". 9 April 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
Natalia Kills - Trouble (feat. Peaches).png
Single by Natalia Kills featuring Peaches
from the album Trouble
Released8 April 2014 (2014-04-08)
  • Cherrytree
  • Interscope
  • Natalia Kills
  • Jeff Bhasker
Producer(s) Martin Kierszenbaum
Natalia Kills singles chronology
"Saturday Night"
"Diamond Days"