Kesha – “Resentment” (Feat. Brian Wilson & Sturgill Simpson)

Next month, pop survivor Kesha will return with her new album High Road. She’s shared a couple of early singles: The exultant Big Freedia collab “Raising Hell” and the catchy but accusatory “My Own Dance.” But when Kesha first announced the album, the song that everyone wanted to hear was “Resentment,” mostly because of its truly strange lineup of collaborators. The track features the semi-reclusive former Beach Boys wizard Brian Wilson, the country-adjacent rule-breaker Sturgill Simpson, and the pop songwriter Wrabel. All on a song! Together! With Kesha! Today, we get to hear it.

“Resentment,” it turns out, is an absolutely lovely song — an acoustic ballad that shades into country without ever quite getting there. On the song, Kesha sings about a toxic relationship: “I don’t hate you, babe, it’s worse than that / Cuz you hurt me, and I don’t react.” The most prominent non-Kesha voice is Sturgill Simpson, who sings backup on the chorus and whose craggy baritone makes a great fit for her. Wilson and Wrabel also sing backup, adding ghostly harmonies that give the song a luminous feel. It’s crazy that Kesha got Brian Wilson to coo softly in the background, but that’s what happened.

Wrabel originally co-write “Resentment” with Madi Diaz and Jamie Floyd. Kesha has a co-writing credit, and John Hill produced it. The song has a bare-bones VHS-style video of Kesha alone. Check it out below.

High Road is out 1/10 on RCA.