Her rendition was recorded for music mental health organisation Sounds of Saving’s ‘Song that Found Me at the Right Time’ series in collaboration with Lifeline.
“I think one thing I’m still learning how to hone as an adult is not shying away from acknowledging my emotions, but letting myself go there,” Van Etten says at the start of the video.
“There’s some times you just don’t have words for what you’re going through, and I can pull up a song I’ve listened to for the last 10 years. Sometimes it gives you words for what you’re going through, but it also takes you outside of your own experience, which I think can help slow down the darker thoughts.”
Van Etten also explained how she first came across NIN’s 1994 The Downward Spiral track, saying: “I was the cliché middle child and always felt misunderstood, and then the oldest brother was the one that I connected to the most with music. When I was learning to play guitar, he gave me a box of cassettes.”
“By the time ‘Hurt’ came on, I just remember connecting to it so much but also realising that my brother had listened to it, and we’d never really talked about any deep feelings, but we always shared music. It was like my first sign that my brother was trying to connect with me on a more emotional level than just ‘we’re sharing music’.”
Watch Van Etten cover ‘Hurt’ below.