Rational thoughts and fairytale dreams are rarely a match for fleeting moments of bliss. Even when you know in your head that something (or someone) is wrong for you, your impulsive heart can make you ignore that good sense.
Emerging pop star Emily Burns perfectly captures this human reality in her new song “Hate Me Too.” Included on her new “My Town” EP, the track chronicles the futility of fighting the heat of the moment — and the pain and self-doubt that come when you lose said fight.
“I got you out my head, haven’t cried in ages,” sings Burns, before acknowledging, “But when you call me up late in the dead of the night / And you use the same lines that I hear every time/ You need me / God, I’m so easy.” Though she knows this particular romantic interest is wrong for her, she can’t play the long game. She can’t fight those recurring moments where the fling feels so right.
“Hate Me Too” is yet another testament to Burns’ ability (and willingness) to communicate universal vulnerability in her songwriting. Instead of writing “anthems” with empty thoughts of empowerment, Burns finds strength in being honest about her weaknesses. Weaknesses, it should be noted, that we all face in our everyday lives.
The emotional honesty, alone, makes “Hate Me Too” a refreshing addition to today’s pop landscape. But Burns does not coast on the compelling premise; through carefully crafted lyricism, poignant (and gorgeous) singing and deceptively punchy production, she turns “Hate Me Too” into one of the year’s most engaging pop songs.
The wordplay is not overtly gimmicky or needlessly poetic – it is simply a real, candid glimpse into one’s confrontation with their own bad habits. Not simply effective in telling a story, the lyrics help us get to know Emily Burns as a real person rather than a “pop star” singing some catchy lines.
Vocally, Burns’ performance is both beautiful and tragic – she communicates true vulnerability while still sounding quite pretty. She also excels at the “soft yet tightly rhythmic” delivery that is the specialty of artists like Ed Sheeran. When you combine the musical prowess and rich feeling of her vocals, you’re left with an undeniably strong showing from the rising pop artist.
The composition and production are modern and catchy (and not too dissimilar from the “Lauv sound” that is becoming increasingly popular) without dampening (or cheapening) Burns’ feeling. To put it another way, “Hate Me Too” will have fans bopping and singing along — but not the expense of connecting to the song’s core emotion.
Burns’ public discography may not yet be too extensive, but it already features a wealth of fantastic songs. As the strongest overall realization of her talent, “Hate Me Too” is her best offering yet.