Yesterday, Kesha left this video message for her fans on Twitter, letting them know that, at long last, she was making her return to music.
— kesha (@KeshaRose) July 5, 2017
“Animals, I have a surprise for you. Your support and love and kindness has gotten me through, hands down, the hardest time of my entire life. My new song “Praying” is coming out tomorrow. and I couldn’t have done this without you. I f-cking love you.”
And Animals, she delivered.
Caught in a complicated legal battle in an effort to be released from her contract with Sony and producer Dr. Luke, Kesha has not released music in four years. Though we saw her make an emotional return at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, it is wonderful to see Kesha releasing new music of her own. Kesha co-wrote the emotional ballad with Ryan Lewis and Ben Abraham, and she says that the song has a message.
According to an essay that Kesha penned for 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. It’s also about hoping everyone, even someone who hurt you, can heal.”
Give the song a listen here:
The video begins with a poignant and somber monologue that is reminiscent of Beyoncé’s Lemonade (which makes sense since the director for “Praying,” Jonas Åkerlund also directed a few videos on Beyoncé’s visual album.) The lyrics that follow are extremely personal and telling.
Though Kesha doesn’t call anyone out directly, it’s clear that she is speaking to someone who has brought her a lot of pain. She sings, “You almost had me fooled/Told me that I was nothing without you/After everything you’ve done/I can thank you for how strong I have become/Cause 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/ I’ll just say this: I wish you farewell.”
The video itself punctuates black and white images of Kesha set adrift at sea with vivid and colorful imagery, which makes sense since Kesha explained that, “’Praying’ was written about that moment when the sun starts peeking through the darkest storm clouds, creating the most beautiful rainbow.” We see Kesha playing the piano in angel wings, praying before a neon cross, running from her demons, and in the end, in perhaps the most beautiful shot of the whole video, we see Kesha walking on water as the words “The Beginning” are shown at the bottom of the screen.
And while it is definitely sad that this beautiful song resulted from years of turmoil both publicly and privately, we’ve got to say that this song definitely is just the beginning. We cannot wait for more Kesha!
Inspired by artists like Kesha and Beyoncé? About to make your own version of Lemonade? Here’s your step by step guide to capturing Beyonce’s gothic makeup and style from her “Formation” music video.