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Kesha’s New Album High Road Debuts Jan. 31

At the beginning of the last decade, the world witnessed pop newcomer “Ke$ha” make history with her debut single “Tik Tok.” Not only was the track the first number one song of the decade, but it also became the best-selling single of 2010. As we kick off a brand-new decade, Kesha is once again ready to top the charts. This Friday, Jan. 31st is the long-anticipated debut of her fourth studio album, High Road.

Kesha announced the album on Oct. 21, 2019 with a “High Road Trailer” (you can watch the trailer on her YouTube channel here). In the trailer, Kesha explains, “when I wrote Rainbow, I was in a very different headspace. I had to address some very serious things. But now, on my new record, I revisit my roots of pure and utter debaucherous joy.” High Road is following her Grammy-nominated album Rainbow, released in 2017. It’s no secret that Rainbow tackles the subject of Kesha’s struggle against her producer and abuser, Lukas Gottwald.

Courtesy: The Line of Best Fit

 

In an interview with the Atlantic, Kesha said that “she initially wasn’t sure how to follow Rainbow.” Rainbow was a reflection of the claims Kesha made in her 2014 lawsuit. Accusations of abuse, drugging and sexual assault were among the charges, all of which Gottwald denied. Although she did not receive the outcome she desired in the courtroom, thousands gathered together with the hashtag “#FreeKesha” to show their support. Kesha shared that “I felt I didn’t deserve to just be unapologetically joyous and happy, because as the whole world knows, I’ve been through some … traumatic things in my life.”

So what can we expect from High Road? In an interview with Rolling Stone, Kesha stated, “ I’ve decided to ‘fight for my right to party!’ On my own terms. I won’t be defined by my past, but I will learn from it. I am so happy, and I hope that happiness is infectious.” The album has features from other notable pop artists like Nate Ruess from fun., Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys and Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons.

Of the 15 tracks that are set to be released Friday, you can already listen to three songs. The debut track of the album “Raising Hell” seems to encompass all of the aforementioned “debaucherous joy.” Featuring Big Freedia, who is accompanying Kesha on tour this spring, the song experiments with a gospel choir vibe. Overall, “Raising Hell” is just as danceable as her dollar sign days but still holds on to the wisdom of her Rainbow era.

The follow-up tracks are “My Own Dance” and “Resentment.” “My Own Dance” is about reclaiming her party days, but on her own terms. With lyrics such as, “the internet called and it wants you back / But could you kind of rap and not be so sad?” Kesha shines a light on the pressure she’s faced from fans and the music industry to conform to their expectations. “Resentment” feels like a sequel to “Praying.” This acoustic hit features the talents of Sturgill Simpson, Brian Wilson and Wrabel.

Kesha’s concept for High Road comes from her innate belief that “life is like driving across the country in a pretty small Astrovan, with your whole family in it, for 90 years.” Kesha has been on a long journey, and now she is ready to take us along for the ride. Catch the album out this Friday.

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Riley Torrence (she/her) is a current senior at Florida State University studying Communications and Editing, Writing, and Media. She loves films, coffee, literature, new adventures, and her two cats! You can find her on Instagram at @rileytorrence.