It appears that we are truly living in a new era of Kesha, and I for one could not be more pleased. Today she has released her second song (and music video) in a week—"Praying," the first single from her upcoming album Rainbow, due for release on August 11, came last Thursday (July 6). The new track is called "Woman" and, as I am whenever Kesha triumphs, I am very pleased to tell you that it is great.
At a listening party in London, Kesha said that the song was written in response to Donald Trump's "grab them by the pussy" remarks ("That made me so infuriated, as a hardcore feminist," she said), and it certainly has fire behind it. The music video (which you can see above) was directed by Kesha and her brother Lagan, and basically depicts Kesha raging around in a bar, wearing a giant red stetson and singing about how she's a 'motherfucker.' It's another objectively strong vocal performance, following on from "Praying," though what's extra-special about the track is that it's captures the boundless, "dgaf" energy and overarching sense of fun of her early output (there's literally like two lines where the vocals are broken up by laughter). That said, there's also a sense of musical growth in the direction of live instrumentation, and that's where The Dap-Kings come in.
In an essay for Rolling Stone to accompany the track's release, Kesha describes the experience of recording with the group for the track, stating that she'd always wanted some of The Dap-Kings' "special sauce" for it since its inception. The piece also discusses how she sees the track as a "female empowerment" song, and her want to move away from EDM, more towards the musical styles she personally loves:
I love the music I have made before, but it was funny to me that I would go play huge EDM festivals and then I'd go onto my tour bus and get out my record player and put on Iggy Pop, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, T Rex, Dolly Parton, James Brown, Beatles, The Sweet; any of those records. They all couldn't be more different sonically from what I was doing, even though the same wild spirit was there.
I for one welcome the change. Hopefully there's more of what we see in "Woman" to come on Rainbow, because as she says herself, when the "wild spirit" of her past self is combined with this new musical direction, some very special pop music happens.
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