Video Premiere: Nightingail’s “Trouble”


The new video for Nightingail’s “Trouble” should come with a trigger warning for anyone who has experienced relationship trouble — or just loneliness — during a Nashville winter. 

If the song wasn’t good — a laid-back, neo-soul jam described by Nightingail’s Alicia Gail as “an honest view of a toxic relationship and how the one you have with yourself is just as real as one with another human being” — and if the gorgeous, minimalist video by local videographer Daniel Yocum didn’t paint such an accurate picture, emotionally and visually, of a Nashville winter, we might not suggest you watch it. But you should. 

Juxtaposing shots of a dancing, wine-drinking, and bandaged Gail against shots of a similarly-bandaged couple doing the same things — played by local rockers Nikki Barber of The Minks and Dylan Whitlow of DeeOhGee — Yocum takes Gail’s comparison of the “self” relationship to the “other” relationship and makes it literal. It’s the type of video you might need to watch a few times to realize what the heck is going on (Is this other couple real? Is it a flashback? Is it a parallel universe? Is everyone in Nashville just depressed?), but Yocum, a David Lynch fan, would probably take that as a compliment. 

“Trouble” comes from Nightingail’s new album Strange Love, released Sept. 17 by Cold Lunch Recordings. It was recorded back in 2018, but shelved for various reasons, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In December 2019 I sent Daniel Yocum the full album and told him to pick a song he wanted to do a video for. He immediately came back with this pick, and had the idea of adding a humorous, self-exposing side to match the story of the song,” says Gail. 

Gail says she was sold on working with Yocum, when he told her that in the video’s opening shot, he wanted her “eating a big, fat burger in (her) car.” And that’s what they did. However, the video strikes a balance between humor, and Gail’s underlying message that we should learn how to love ourselves. 

“(A toxic relationship) can be a lot easier to see when it’s with someone else, and it’s certainly easier to think that it’s someone else’s fault. But the root of it all is learning how to not hate yourself. It’s taken way too long to stop focusing on “how to love myself” and admit that I was ashamed of the person I saw in the mirror,” says Gail. “No amount of self care was helping me do anything but use up time until I admitted that. Of course it’s an ongoing journey for each person, but that’s where this song stems from, and that’s what this video was meant to shed some light on. Keeping that hidden has never brought any good, so we’ll try putting a harsh spotlight on it and see what happens.” 

Listen to Nightingail’s full Strange Love album.

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