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Watch Robert Ellis’ ‘California’ Music Video

Houston-based singer-songwriter Robert Ellis has released the music video for his latest single, “California.” Following the rise and fall of a romantic relationship, the video for Ellis’s latest single is full of saturated beauty and glimmers of hope in the midst of deep sadness.

With a quavering falsetto, “California” creates a world of love and loss with a sweeping narrative inspired by Ellis’s recent divorce, but seen through the eyes of a woman. What starts out as love under the lights of a hometown rodeo leads to intense fights and her eventual departure to sunnier skies and a new life.

“When every memory is built like a home that’s haunted / Closing your eyes / Dream of a place where things turn out the way you plan / Everything dies / Dream of a place where the living resides again,” sings Ellis leading up to the chorus. “And she says maybe I’ll move to California / With the unbroken part of my heart I still have left / Maybe I’ll fall in love again someday / I’m not gonna hold my breath / I’m not gonna hold my breath.”

But despite the heavier nature of “California,” Ellis maintains that the song — as well as the self-titled album it appears on — is actually more positive than his songwriting of the past.

“There’s a joy in the record … even in songs like ‘California,’ which are about sad things,” Ellis tells Noisey in an interview. “In the past, my writing was more fatalistic … now I’m trying to inject a little hope. The woman in ‘California’ has just gone through something very tough, but now she’s thinking about all the possibilities of where her life can go. Her life has opened up.”

“California” appears on Ellis’s eponymous fourth album, released in June. Robert Ellis is currently available on iTunes. More information on his music and upcoming shows can be found on his official website.

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