“Hurt” by Kate Ellis

On the heels of the success of her sophomore album, Spirals, Americana-folk singer Kate Ellis released her special, never before heard cover of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails (also covered by Johnny Cash.) The singer has an interesting life that contributed to her songwriting influence, she was born in Louisiana, raised in New York, and is now based in London. She draws her early love of folk music from her father – who played guitar for Hank Williams on the famous Louisiana Hayride.

The single is accompanied by a music video where Ellis performs in the ruins of an abandoned church. She captures that contrast beautifully by walking around in a polished outfit against the old stone.

We’ve included the video below for you to check out:

In Ellis’s rendition of “Hurt” she leans into both softness and the folkness of the song. The guitar licks give the song an edge but the strings and piano give this gentleness to the sadness. The production of this song certainly helps set it apart from previous covers. It was produced with John Reynolds, who has worked with iconic singer-songwriters like The Indigo Girls and Sinead O’Connor. The Nine Inch Nails rendition is more unsettling, Cash’s version is pretty broken, while Ellis finds a way to highlight the positives of “finding a way” through the hurt. The unique perspective transforms this song into a version all her own.

When asked about why she chose to record “Hurt,” Ellis responded, “Hurt is one of those songs that you wish you had written. A simple structure and melody that conveys the most powerful and complex emotions. I am in awe of songs that can do that.”

So be sure to check out the music video and pick up one of the 300 hand numbered vinyls of Spirals, which includes Ellis’s cover of “Hurt.”

Reviewed by Katie Power

Featured Photo by: Andy Hobsbawn





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