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Desi Rottman is a contributing writer to The Hudsucker. By day, she now works in the sports & entertainment industry, and by night she's an avid runner, Pinterest addict and music enthusiast. Desi grew up in the Mitten state before moving south to warmer weather.

Kesha Has Us ‘Praying’ for More With Her Latest Track

Kesha is back.

With little fanfare, on Thursday Kesha announced her new album Rainbow and, along with it, released her first new song in four years. Much has been written about her legal battles and the abuse she suffered from producer, Dr. Luke, which resulted in her unintended hiatus. “Praying” is her first original single since 2013’s “Crazy Kids,” and it’s not a return to form — it feels more like a debut.

A tidy three minutes and 50 seconds, “Praying” is totally different than any of Kesha’s previous official releases. And it’s hard to ignore feeling like she might be singing to that producer who has had such a negative impact on both her life and career.

“After everything you’ve done, I can thank you for how strong I have become.” Singing about growth and strength isn’t new for Kesha, but this track seems different, more honest, raw.

“I hope you’re somewhere praying,” she sings further in the piano-driven chorus. The driving drums as the track climaxes feel triumphant — the video echoes that, seeing Kesha go from a black and white life to scaling a mountain in technicolor.

The shift in sound is something Kesha has hinted at in the past. Her Tennessee roots shine through not only on the record’s collaboration with Dolly Parton, but also in the different instrumentation compared to her previous releases.

While Animal, Cannibal and Warrior focused heavily on dance beats and catchy hooks, Rainbow already sounds and feels like a new artist. She’s played limited shows over the past few years with her backing band The Creepies, but due to the legal issues, was unable to perform any of the new material. (The secret show she played in a Nashville dive bar in December 2014 saw reworkings of her hits as country tunes, signaling the first potential new direction.) “Praying” is the first glimpse into the kind of artist Kesha has always wanted to be.

* * * * *

Rainbow comes out August 11 on Kemosabe Records and can be pre-ordered now.

Follow Kesha over at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates, and check out her discography at Spotify.

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