From the sounds of this first teaser, “Die Young,” the soon-to-be released single off of Ke$ha‘s forthcoming album — the one she says she gives “so many f*cks about” — new Ke$ha is as indulgent as old Ke$ha, but maybe a little more tender, too. Singing a capella on the subway in Tokyo, she belts out this plea: “Oh, what a shame that you cam here with someone/ While you’re here in my arms, let’s make the most of the night/’cause we’re gonna die young.” The “we’re gonna die young” refrain is a familiar one, coming from a wild-child like Ke$ha. The tender embrace bit is, though, is a sweet new line for her. And most surprising of all in this first teaser is the sound of Ke$ha’s voice, stripped of all that auto-tune and effect she’s used in the past.
“Die Young” was written by pop maven Dr. Luke, and even as a 30-second a capella performance it sounds ready to rock radio waves — it will be hard for Ke$ha to escape her shock-pop days entirely. She’s said, though, that she “wants to leave the tricks to a minimum” on this one so that she can “wail,” and wail she sort of does here. Even the single’s artwork — posted today to her Facebook with a message that said, “getting closer. get hyped. eternal boners.” — takes her to a knew, less studded and more natural place, posing her in the sun’s light with a gun holster and flower crown and nothing else. So, actually, still some shock.