Kesha on her new album

Kesha is making a comeback, and she (and we) could not be happier about it. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the pop star spoke about what her new album, High Road, means for her: A “defiant statement” that she’s rising above the difficulties she’s very publicly experienced over the past few years.

“I think it’s about reclaiming my happiness and my voice and all aspects of my life, and not living in the tragedy of what everyone knows I’ve been through,” Kesha said. “Kind of defiance against being stuck and pigeonholed in one place forever, because of one situation.”

That “one situation” Kesha refers to is most likely her ongoing legal battles with her producer, Dr. Luke. She sued Dr. Luke in 2014, accusing him of rape, battery, and harassment. He then went on to countersue for defamation and breach of contract. A judge dismissed Kesha’s claims in 2016 and denied her request to end her contract with the producer. The suit still isn’t settled.

That all makes the “defiant” happiness evident throughout High Road so much more powerful—because, as they don’t say, but they really should, happiness is the best revenge.

“I want High Road to be my defiant statement that I can still make happy music, I can still make pop music, and I can still be happy, and at the same time have the juxtaposition of the really emotional and intense—it’s not that the vulnerability isn’t there, but I really believe that High Road is the first record I’ve put out where I feel like I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone,” Kesha said.

Even though she’s reclaiming a little bit of the “party girl” persona she initially became famous for, the new Kesha is a decidedly more mature version of Ke$ha-with-the-dollar-sign circa 2008.
“I think I took the sum of all my experiences on all my records and tried to really reclaim all of that as an adult woman on High Road,” Kesha told WSJ.

Her multifaceted personality, interests, and artistry are on full display in High Road, which was just released last Friday, January 31st. The title track is (you guessed it) a defiant statement about “deciding to not give a shit” about “hurtful” people, set against a buoyant dance beat.

But then there are country-inspired ballads “Resentment,” featuring Sturgill Simpson and Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, and “Cowboy Blues,” which quotes Kesha’s therapist. And then some more party anthems, of course. We’re digging “Raising Hell,” featuring Big Freedia, which we’ll be blasting whenever we need our own boost of unmitigated happiness.

Kesha will be kicking off her High Road Tour in Sugar Land, Texas on April 23rd. We’ll be rooting for her (and partying with her) every step of the way.

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