Kesha has released a pair of new songs, “Eat the Acid” and “Fine Line,” from her upcoming album, Gag Order, out May 19.
“Fine Line” is a deceptively atmospheric track that eschews percussion but pulls plenty of energy from its bruising synths and Kesha’s vocals, which build from a whisper to a snarl. “The years keep dragging, I’m at the end of my rope,” she sings, “The noose gets tighter and tighter, I’m tasting blood in my throat/Don’t fucking call me a fighter, don’t fucking call me a joke/You have no fucking idea and trust me you’ll never know.”
As Rolling Stone recently reported, “Fine Line” is probably the closest Kesha comes to addressing her ongoing legal situation with Dr. Luke, along with the album’s title, Gag Order. (Kesha has accused the producer, real name Lukasz Gottwald, of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; he has denied the allegations, and his defamation suit against Kesha is set to go to trial this summer.)
While Kesha couldn’t speak about the trial during the interview because the case is still pending, she reflected on her album’s title, saying, “I feel as if there has been an implied gag order for a very long time now. With my ongoing litigation hanging over my head, I have not been able to speak freely because I know everything I say is scrutinized.”
As for “Eat the Acid,” Kesha wrote the slow-burning meditative track the night after a major spiritual and existential breakthrough. She described the moment to Rolling Stone, saying it occurred in spring 2020 when she was on the verge of a panic attack and her cat, Mr. Peeps, happened to walk over to her, carrying her headphones.
Kesha took that gesture as a sign she should meditate. As she sat with herself, she recalled, “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. 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.’”
Kesha will release Gag Order on May 19. Rick Rubin produced the new album, marking Kesha’s first since 2020’s High Road.