by Craig Shelburne
With the guest appearance from a rock hero, Caylee Hammack is buying a new life for “Just Friends,” a track from her debut album, If It Wasn’t For You.
Through mutual friends, she tracked down Everclear frontman Art Alexakis and invited him to take part in the video shoot, because the band’s music helped her get through a breakup that later inspired her to write “Just Friends.”
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Back in the ’90s and early 2000s, Everclear was inescapable with modern rock classics like “Everything to Everyone,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” “Father of Mine,” and “Wonderful.” The band’s impressive ability to pair storytelling lyrics to an aggressive arrangement carries over into “Just Friends,” too.
The track comes from Hammack’s debut album, If It Wasn’t for You, which she co-produced and issued via Capitol Nashville in August. The collection also includes fan favorites like “Family Tree,” “Redhead,” and “Small Town Hypocrite.” A Georgia native who now lives in Nashville, she is among the latest class of rising stars in CMT’s Listen Up and Next Women of Country campaigns.
Hammack stated, “When I was in the writing room and studio working on my debut album, I got to sneak lyrical and sonic Easter eggs throughout the record to pay homage to the legends who have shaped me and my music. Considering ’Just Friends’ partly came from a Everclear binge during a breakup, I dreamt that Art Alexakis could star as an Easter egg, mystery character in the music video.”
She continued, “’I Will Buy You a New Life’ was one of the first songs and music videos that stuck in my head as a kid. I knew I had to reference that in someway. Then the idea popped in my head to just ask his number of a mutual friend and call him. I’m glad I did. He is a wonderful creator and even better human.”