Exclusive: Emily Hearn Premieres 'Volcano' Video

Courtesy of Old Prince Records
Emily Hearn

One of pop music's most important roles has always been to express the vicious intensity of heartbreak, and Emily Hearn's "Volcano" serves this function well. "The song is so raw and so sad," she tells Billboard. "It's about that desperation when you lose the one you love and you hit rock bottom." Today Billboard is exclusively premiering the video for the towering ballad.

Hearn starts "Volcano" with only a piano, and then constructs a sturdy exterior around that shell, borrowing some lessons from '60s soul. Strings sweep in during the hook, and the track's flow is briefly destabilized by jarring intrusions of electric guitar. "Sometimes love just ain't enough," she sings. "Baby we're ashes and smoke/ like a volcano gone cold."

615 Spotlight: Emily Hearn Makes 'Promises'

Working with the director Mary Caroline Russell, Hearn put together a visual that closely matched the feel of her song. "I wanted to capture that sadness in the deep blues of the backdrop and the emptiness of the room," she says. "I wanted to show snapshots of a relationship -- everything from the first time holding hands all the way to the fight that ends it all."

"We wanted to keep it simple," Russell adds, "while still showcasing the range of emotion a break up can bring… The song itself already had beautiful imagery in the lyrics so we took out the ashes to help visually drive home the destruction and layers of baggage and history a break up leaves in its trail." There's also a cinematic trick that aids in the presentation: They shot everything 2.5 times faster in order "to create the feeling that everything is falling in slow motion."

Look for Hearn's new album, Hourglass, on March 10. You can also catch Hearn on tour -- check out those dates here.