Pop-industry survivor Kesha has been through a whole lot of bullshit, especially in her prolonged court and public-opinion battle with former collaborator Dr. Luke, and now she’s ready to get back to the business of being a pop star. Two years ago, Kesha came back strong with her Rainbow album. And yearly next year, she’ll follow it up with a new LP called High Road. Today, we get to hear “Raising Hell,” the album’s first single.
The track brings some of Kesha’s old sound — the half-rapping libertine party-girl thing — into a present, building on the whole story she’s been living out in public for the past few years. It’s got EDM drops, a rapped breakdown from New Orleans bounce queen Big Freedia, and a huge, gospel-derived hook. The lyrics are all about making it through adversity, but they’re fun, too. “Bitch, I’m blessed” is a line that sounds a whole lot better with a gospel choir behind it.
Director Luke Gilford’s video starts out as a pastiche of ’80s religious TV, with Kesha playing a televangelist. It’s all very Righteous Gemstones. But then the video takes a few plot twists and turns into something very different. (That’s very Righteous Gemstones, too, come to think of it.)
The forthcoming album High Road has Kesha working with a whole lot of industry types, including songwriters like Jeff Bhasker, Justin Tranter, and former Fun. singer Nate Ruess. But there will probably also be some left-field choices in there. One song features both Sturgill Simpson and Brian Wilson, and I can’t wait to hear what that sounds like. Another song “features” Ke$ha, so she’s apparently bringing back her old persona, the one from when she had the dollar sign in her name. Below, check out the “Raising Hell” video and the High Road tracklist.
02 “My Own Dance”
03 “Raising Hell” (Feat. Big Freedia)
04 “High Road”
07 “Cowboy Blues”
08 “Resentment (Feat. Sturgill Simpson & Brian Wilson)
09 “Little Bit Of Love”
10 “Birthday Suit”
11 “Kinky” (Feat. Ke$ha)
12 “Potato Song (Cuz I Want To)”
13 “BFF “(Feat. Wrabel)
14 “Father Daughter Dance”
15 “Chasing Thunder”
High Road is out 1/10 on RCA.