Kesha Rejects 'Toxic Positivity' On New Album

26 April 2023 | 9:38 am | Mary Varvaris

"I almost felt like I was becoming a caricature of this toxic positivity."

(Pic by Vince Haycock)

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Kesha is preparing to release her next album, Gag Order, the follow-up to 2020’s High Road, on Friday, 19 May.

The soul-baring new release references her legal battle with ex-producer and label owner, Dr Luke, who she alleged hurt her during an extended period of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and attempted to get out of the contract. While Kesha’s allegations against him were dropped in 2016, Dr Luke has countersued for defamation – that trial begins in July.

“I feel like I’m giving birth to the most intimate thing I’ve ever created,” she admitted in a new Rolling Stone interview.

Kesha also discussed the "nerve-wracking" experience of displaying her "uglier emotions" with mega-producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Metallica, Johnny Cash).

She continued, “It’s scary being vulnerable. The fact that I have compiled an entire record of these emotions, of anger, of insecurity, of anxiety, of grief, of pain, of regret, all of that is so nerve-racking — but it’s also so healing.”

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"I wrote Tik Tok, and ‘the party don’t start ’til I walk in,’ so I almost felt like I was becoming a caricature of this toxic positivity.

“We live in a culture where I feel like we always show our best side. But Rick Rubin created the most beautiful, safe space for me to really dive into these emotions.”

This Friday, 28 April, Kesha is dropping two new songs: Eat The Acid and Fine Line. The former was influenced by her mother, Pebe Sebert, who gave her daughter the following advice: “Do whatever you want in your life, but don’t eat acid, because when you eat acid, you see things that you’ll never be able to unsee.”

Kesha made Gag Order after experiencing a “spiritual awakening” she first thought was a mental breakdown.  "I had this really beautiful, scary, and intense spiritual awakening where it felt like I was talking to my highest self, or God, whatever word you want to say,” she said.

“I fully thought I was having a mental breakdown. I called my therapist and my doctor. They all were like, ‘Oh, you had a spiritual awakening. Yay! Good job.'"