Everyone is going to go through tough times. That’s a hard truth, but it’s just a fact of life. We can’t be happy 100 percent of our lives, so it’s important to know what to do when the tough times hit. Making sure your self-care techniques are healthy and helping you, reaching out to friends, or seeking professional help are all things to keep in mind when the bad times hit. Musician and audio engineer Liam Duncan knows these bad times intimately, and he’s used his experiences getting out of them to craft his latest single “Times Like These.” We’ve got the premiere of the deeply personal track right here on Substream.

Duncan works primarily with his acoustic guitar, and he crafts a moving tale with it. The song begins with the bad times “creeping” up, and he leads his guitar in a deliberate, slow tune-up as the song winds its way through the first verse. As he gets to the chorus, in which he musters his will and fights through to see a better day, he switches to shorter, choppier riffs. There’s a proud defiance in “Times Like These” that blossoms during these choppy riffs, a refusal to give in or be deterred. Since Duncan is an engineer, he naturally had a hand in the production side of the track as well, and the result is a track that’s beautifully constructed from a technical standpoint.

Duncan also released a music for “Times Like These.” It begins as a simple performance video, nobody on-screen besides Duncan and his guitar. As the camera pans out and the song continues, paint begins to drop from above onto him as he performs. By the end of track he’s almost completely covered. It’s a simple, well-executed concept that fits with the themes of the song, and Duncan’s performance carries that same defiance he put into his music.

Duncan has taken his own advice from “Times Like These” in his personal life, too. He says “This song is about the times in our lives when we feel our worst. At our most anxious, most depressed, most broken up, we feel so human. This year has been the hard on me, but I’m also 22 and I’ve also grown into myself more than ever before. This song is about embracing our lows. Learning from our lows. Allowing our lows to make the highs rich and full. The lyrics reflect a breakup, because that is where my head was at, but it’s not really about that. It’s just about feeling like shit, realizing that you feel that way, and accepting it. Learning from it. Drinking deep from the well of ‘I’m 22 and I hate myself’. It’s important!”

Check out both the stream of “Times Like These” and the music video for the track below.