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Kesha Describes New Album ‘Gag Order’ as the ‘Most Intimate Thing I’ve Ever Created’

Kesha is ready to tell it all and make a few hits along the way with her new album Gag Order. The 36-year-old music superstar posted three images on social media promoting the new LP and upcoming singles, “Eat the Acid” and “Fine Line”. 

One image shows a green folding chair with a plastic bag draped over it with Kesha’s face superimposed to the bag, while another image shows the words “gag order” in black on a tan background with some of the letters reversed – both with the caption, “GAG ORDER. THE ALBUM. MAY 19.” The final image shows Kesha with a plastic bag over her head with the caption, “GAG ORDER. THE ALBUM. MAY 19. EAT THE ACID. FINE LINE. APRIL 28.”

On the same day, the “Tik Tok” singer’s interview with Rolling Stone gave insight into her album’s development process, which started with a spiritual awakening three years ago, prompted by her cat, Mr. Peeps. 

“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,” recalled Kesha for Rolling Stone. “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.’”

This epiphany led her to recording one of the album’s singles, “Eat the Acid.” The song was also inspired by advice from her mother and collaborator Pebe Sebert. 

“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,” said Kesha. This became the starting point for the development of her fifth album, which she crafted alongside super producer Rick Rubin.“I feel like I’m giving birth to the most intimate thing I’ve ever created,” said Kesha. 

In the interview, Kesha described her writing process and how unconventional, yet, therapeutic it was. For the single “Eat the Acid”, she recorded her vocals with her phone over Zoom, relying on Rubin’s recording equipment to handle the rest. 

“Rick Rubin has access to the nicest microphones known to mankind,” said Kesha. “But the purity and genuine nature of just recording something with what you are holding in your hand on the fly, in the moment, it just captures the magic that was not re-creatable.”

As for the song “Fine Line”, Kesha gets as close as possible to addressing the legal incidents that have marred her past few years. The album’s title points to this as well. 

“I feel as if there has been an implied gag order for a very long time now,” said Kesha. “With my ongoing litigation hanging over my head, I have not been able to speak freely because I know everything I say is scrutinized.”

In 2014, the “Timber” singer filed a lawsuit against producer, collaborator, and owner of Kemosabe Records (Kesha’s label), Lukasz Gottwald, known professionally as Dr. Luke. The lawsuit alleged that Gottwald had sexually, physically, and emotionally abused her over an extended period. Gottwald countersued Kesha the same year, denying all allegations and citing defamation on her part. Eventually, Kesha’s claims were dismissed by a judge in 2016 on the grounds that they were too old, but Gottwald’s countersuit goes to trial this summer. 

Kesha’s early music notoriously leaned into optimism and wasn’t afraid to start the party, but it has become a source of self-love and pride for many queer fans. From her empowering anthem “We R Who We R”, to an album named “Rainbow”, to officiating a lesbian wedding, her third one to date, in the music video for “I Need a Woman”, Kesha, who’s also queer, continues promote queerness and self-love. 

But, according to Kesha, her new album reflects her continuous fight against Gottwald and the music industry, a reclamation of her life, and a celebration of family, love, and joy. The last song on her album is titled “Happy”, which features words from Oberon Zell, an 80-year-old Neopagan writer, speaker, religious leader, and self-proclaimed wizard. The two met while making her podcast Kesha and the Creepies, and his voice is on the last song of Gag Order which sums up Kesha’s healing journey where he states, “Sometimes, you think you’re doing the magic, and sometimes you realize the magic is doing you.”

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