If there is a God, or whatever, why have I been abandoned by everyone and everything I’ve ever known?
American singer songwriter Kesha Sebert (Kesha) today released a single called Praying and it’s an explosive first look at her new album Rainbow to be released on August 11.
It’s the first we’ve seen from the pop-star in nearly four years and it’s packed with the remnants of the hurt and anguish and very public torment Kesha has lived through since her 2012 album Warrior.
In October, 2014, Kesha pressed charges of sexual harassment and assault and battery against her former producer and record label boss Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald).
Soon after, the pop-star herself was charged with defamation by Gorrwald – a case that was thrown out of court in June this year.
The legal battle involving Kesha’s allegations of rape and assault is ongoing, but the pop-star was denied her request to dissolve her contract with Sony’s Kemosabe Records, of which Gottwald was the CEO.
Earlier this year, she released a statement saying she was unable to release music until the issue was resolved. In April this year Gottwald stepped down, however a statement issued by the company today said Praying “was released with Dr. Luke’s approval by Kemosabe, as legally required all along”.
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It’s difficult not to read into the anger and the hurt so obviously conveyed in the Praying lyrics. The clip starts with the 30-year-old floating on debris “stranded” in the middle of a lake.
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
Kesha herself has said the record channels her feelings of depression and helplessness over the last four years.
“There were so many days, months even, when I didn’t want to get out of bed. I spent all day wanting to go to sleep, and then when I did fall asleep, I had horrible night terrors where I would physically cry and scream through the dark,” she wrote for this week’s Lenny Letter.
“This song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you. It’s a song about learning to be proud of the person you are even during low moments when you feel alone.”
The song Praying was co-written by Kesha, Ryan Lewis, Ben Abraham and Andrew Joslyn.
It’s far different to her earlier work, such as as Tik Tok that was released in 2010, and both the visuals and the sound have been compared to Beyonce’s recent album Lemonade.
Whatever you think of Kesha’s music, this record – the fact of it, more than anything else – is worth celebrating.
She’s been through hell and she’s turned it into art.