Emily Hackett
Photo: Mikey Reaves / Press

Premiere: Emily Hackett — Can’t Help Myself

Emily Hackett cannot help herself, so she went to the top of the world to sing to us. The romantic indie artist dropped her latest EP My Version of a Love Song, a collection of songs depicting all angles and intricacies of love. The EP included her song “Can’t Help Myself,” a song about knowing what’s good for you but in the end always ending up back at the bottom, where you wanted to leave. And although Hackett is on the top of the world singing “Can’t Help Myself,” we know that she has to go back down to get home.

We all are familiar with the feeling of wanting to help ourselves but not being able to fully commit. Like people who buy self-help books and have yet to help themselves, she sings “Read all the books, could feed you some lines / but somehow I still believe my lies.” Sometimes we find ourselves in a never-ending circle. A circle we hope to break. Someday.

Hackett sits on the top of the world, her hair, dress, and sweater blowing in the wind. Guitar in hand. Mic ready. Her fluffy dog there for support. The video is a cool crisp visual of the sun setting. A new day will begin again. Maybe this time we can help ourselves. The Nashville-based musician serves us stripped-down guitar over stunning vocals with all the softness of country and strength from being a woman. Along with premiering the brand-new video, we got to talk to the moody singer-songwriter about self-help books, her dad’s love for music, and shooting the music video for “Can’t Help Myself.”

What’s up? What has inspired you this week?

Hi! Thanks for premiering my video! OK, so I’m super into this book I’m reading/doing called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It has me tapping back into my childlike wonder again in huge ways. I also watched Nomadland with Francis McDormand. Every scene was stunning.

What’s the scene like in Nashville?

Currently, seeing sunshine and signs of spring from my front porch with my new puppy. One of our favorite venues, The Basement East, opened its doors back up yesterday, one year after the tornado that almost leveled it. Everyone is equally eager and nervous to get back to the stage. I’ve got so many talented friends I create with and support as an audience member, that I’m most excited about being around that community again.

Do you remember what first got you into music?

My dad’s love for it. He has been and always will be a true consumer of music. He eats it up. He also was the first to teach me how to play guitar.

What sparked the idea for “Can’t Help Myself?” What was the process like?

The making of that song was truly a therapy session with one of my friends and co-creators, Joseph Patton. Everyone reads self-help books and there are so many of them out there these days because the idea of bettering yourself is almost trendy. They all say the same thing but in different ways. We know how to do the work, it’s just actually doing it that’s the hard part. Patterns are a tricky bitch. I wanted the song to be reminiscent of that, in that repetitive nature of the chorus.

How was it singing on the top of the world? What was shooting like?

Stunning! Also a little chilly. I wanted to wear a classic Ladies-of-the-Canyon-looking dress, but eventually I also wore the blanket I had brought to sit on. When that sun starts going down, Cali is still cold in January! It had been a heavy fog that afternoon so I was really nervous that we wouldn’t be able to see anything from the top, that we would just be in a cloud, but instead we were completely above the clouds. It felt like we were flying.

Who are some of your musical influences?

The list is both long and wide, but there’s ones I continuously come back to like Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow, Kacey Musgraves, Sasha Sloan, but this past year it’s been the latest HAIM record, Ethan Gruska’s whole catalog, Lennon Stella’s magic and yes, Taylor Swift’s Folklore.