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After years of not being able to publish new music, Kesha has finally released a single called “Praying.”
The video went live on her Vevo channel early Thursday morning and features a lot of the grit-and-glam the singer made popular almost 10 years ago. And like a lot of the videos on Beyoncé‘s Lemonade, “Praying” opens with a spoken word moment before the music cuts in.
“If there’s a god or whatever. Something, somewhere,” the singer asks in voiceover as she drifts across the ocean on some wreckage. “Why have I been abandoned by everyone and everything I’ve ever known? I’ve ever loved? Stranded. What is the lesson?”
For Kesha’s part, it seems the lesson has been that her voice and her art are incredibly connected.
“I hope this song reaches people who are in the midst of struggles,” she tweeted Thursday morning, including a link to an essay she wrote for Lena Dunham‘s Lenny Letter. It’s been a long road for the pop star, who faced a years-long career standstill after filing a sexual assault lawsuit against collaborator Dr. Luke. Performances were canceled, personal Instagram captions were penned, and, eventually, charges were dropped.
At the end of it all, Kesha seems braced for a comeback, though.
“It’s from our darkest moments that we gain the most strength,” she says of her new music in Lenny Letter. “There were so many days, months even, when I didn’t want to get out of bed… 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.
“This is just the beginning.”
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.