As a performer known as much for his improvisational comedy talents as his singing and acting roles, Charles Esten unsurprisingly offers a reassuringly sunny vision of the afterlife.
The singer and actor conjures up a comforting vision of the great beyond with his new release, ‘Somewhere in the Sunshine'. Offering those in need a sense of peaceful harmony, not surprisingly his fans are already deeply connecting with this song’s message.
Sung from the perspective of a lost loved one who's reassuring someone they’ve left behind that they are in a better place, Esten's warm emotional delivery on the stirring country rock ballad feels like a comforting arm around your shoulder, at a time when you need it most.
“You should see this place, it’s beautiful”, he sings, as reverb-drenched guitars begin to swell around him. “It’s every place we ever tried to find / It’s got a mountain view / You can see the ocean too / I guess that’s why they call it paradise”.
It shouldn’t be possible to capture something so perfectly that no one knows anything about for certain, but that’s exactly what Charles Esten does on his brand new single. Like ‘Holes In The Floor Of Heaven’ by Steve Wariner or ‘Show Me Around’ by Carly Pearce, ‘Somewhere in the Sunshine’ manages to paint a picture of heaven that feels strangely real and reassuringly familiar.
The video for ‘Somewhere in the Sunshine’ is premiering exclusively on Holler below.
“We all experience loss, and I’m no different,” Esten tells us. “This is the final track on my upcoming debut album. Written with my great friend Jon Nite, it’s from the perspective of a dearly loved one who has passed on. By comforting and reassuring us that they are more than ‘just fine', they're [telling us they are] in a place of deep beauty and peace. They’re somewhere in the sunshine”.
"Jon has been a friend of mine for a pretty long time and I’ve been a fan of his fantastic songwriting for even longer, but this was the first time we had ever written together”. Esten adds. “I was really looking forward to it and, unsurprisingly, when I showed up at his house, he already had the great title that we ended up with; ‘Somewhere In The Sunshine".
"But" Esten continues, "where he had been thinking it would probably lead us to an upbeat and laid-back beach-type song, my heart and mind, at that time, happened to be in a pretty different place".
“I had been spending a lot of time with a friend who was, sadly, nearing the end of his long battle with cancer, and he and I had been having rather deep and moving discussions about faith, fear and hope, and all that comes after this life.
"So, when Jon said the title all of that instantly came to mind, and I began to imagine a song from the beyond, from someone beloved, who wanted us to know they were more than just okay – they were in paradise. Jon was immediately moved by that, and so we set to work in that new direction”.
“I do love the very first line,” Esten tells Holler. “It’s just so conversational. Like something you would write on a postcard or say on a phone call to that someone when you really wished they could experience the intense beauty around you".
"I think that lyric started us off on a very good foot" he continues. "But I think if I had to choose, my favorite would be the line closer to the end of the song. ‘And days when you miss me and the lonely just aches / close your eyes / lift your head / feel the sun on your face’".
"It’s a fairly simple description for the deep and complicated pain of intense grief, but I’m honestly not sure I know a better one”.
Taken from Charles Esten’s highly anticipated independent debut album, Love Ain’t Pretty, ‘Somewhere in the Sunshine’ is another taste of the diverse and richly textured full-length project that’s been more than 10 years in the making.
On it, Esten explores life, love, and the passing of time through the lens of a traveled and tested everyman, who has never lost his innate sense of wonder, or his wide-open soul.
“From writer’s rounds to that very special stage at the Grand Ole Opry, I have been able to perform this song live a quite a few times,” Esten told us about the reaction to the song. “Thanks to social media, people have been able to reach out with their reactions and describe the way the song makes them feel. Honestly, of all my songs, this one seems to be inspiring the most activity along those lines".
"What moves me so much is how many people are not only sharing the way this song blesses them, they’re telling me the person they are missing so desperately that it makes them think of," he adds. "That type of impact is all I could ever hope for. That’s why I’m so happy to finally be releasing this song”.
After getting his big break as the star of the stage musical Buddy in England, Esten began to appear regularly on the original British version of the comedy improv show Who's Line Is It Anyway? Before he was subsequently cast in the U.S. version of the show, hosted by Drew Carey.
As an actor, he has also appeared on numerous TV shows including Star Trek: Next Generation, Cheers, Party of Five and The Office. In 2012, the singer began starring in the ABC drama Nashville as singer Deacon Clayborne.
Set in the country music industry, Nashville showcases the lead actors singing the songs their characters record, and Esten is featured on several singles released by the show.
‘Somewhere in the Sunshine’ is released on October 6th. The album Love Ain’t Pretty follows on January 26th 2024.