Kesha’s First Song In Four Years Is An Emotional Ballad About Her Alleged Abuser
"We both know all the truth I could tell."
This post discusses sexual assault.
Kesha has just dropped her first new song in four long years. And she is not holding back.
‘Praying’ is the lead single off the singer’s upcoming album, Rainbow, and plays like a pretty clear rebuke of her former producer Dr. Luke, whom Kesha has accused of emotional and sexual abuse.
The track begins with a spoken word section in which Kesha asks “What is the lesson? What is the point? God give me a sign or I have to give up. I can’t do this anymore”. Meanwhile, the accompanying music video features the singer in a coffin, and later sees her lying on a makeshift raft in the middle of the ocean.
Other lyrics include “you brought the flames and you put me through hell / I had to learn how to fight for myself / and we both know all the truth I could tell”, while in the chorus Kesha sings “I hope you’re somewhere praying”.
Part of the reason it’s been so long since we’ve gotten any new music from Kesha is that she’s been effectively prohibited from recording while trying to extricate herself from her contract with Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records (Rainbow is being released through Kemosabe and its parent company Sony/RCA, but Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, is no longer CEO).
In an essay published on Lena Dunham’s Lenny, Kesha explains that the song is about “finding peace in the fact that I can’t control everything — because trying to control everyone was killing me. It’s about learning to let go and realize that the universe is in control of my fate, not me.”
“It’s from our darkest moments that we gain the most strength,” she writes. “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. I was never at peace, night or day. But I dragged myself out of bed and took my emotions to the studio and made art out of them. And I have never been happier with a body of work as I am with this record.”
“I hope this song reaches people who are in the midst of struggles, to let them know that no matter how bad it seems now, you can get through it. If you have love and truth on your side, you will never be defeated. Don’t give up on yourself.”
Rainbow releases on August 11.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
Men can access anonymous confidential telephone counselling to help to stop using violent and controlling behaviour through the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.