Kesha is as wild and free as ever in "Woman" video

by Kylie Obermeier

Kesha has had a trying past few years. But in the video for “Woman,” the second song released since beginning her protracted legal dispute with Dr. Luke, the artist reminds us that she can still do what she has always done best: have a good, rowdy time.

Here that entails driving around in an old Cadillac with the top down, shimmying her heart out in a gold sequin outfit complete with cape and doing shots with Saundra Williams of the Dap-Kings, who lends vocals to the track.

Also featured: the entire Dap-Kings horns section. They infuse the track with infectious soul-funk and signal a move away from Kesha’s past dance-pop sound. This is something we can expect on the rest of Rainbow, out on August 11

In an essay for Rolling Stone, the artist discussed how she was proud of the song’s fully live instrumentation and is aiming for a sound on her next record closer to the artists she listens to: Iggy Pop, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, T Rex, James Brown, the Beatles, the Sweet, and Dolly Parton. Parton, along with others including Kesha’s mom and partner-in-crime Pebe Sebert, will be making an appearance on Rainbow.

 Cover art for "Woman"

Cover art for "Woman"

“Woman” arrives a week after “Praying,” a searing ballad with a video also directed by Kesha and her brother Lagan Sebert. It’s the first new music we’ve gotten from Kesha in four years; the past few have seen her waging a legal battle with Kemosabe Records (owned by Sony) and Dr. Luke, who she has accused of sexual assault and emotional abuse. Her new music still comes to us via that label.

But Kesha is back and, at least musically, freer than ever. “Woman” has her declaring “I’m a motherfucking woman” and dismissing dependence on a man in favor of partying with her girls. But the best moment comes when Kesha is unable to properly finish the second verse because she’s laughing too hard.

“To me, the thing I’m most proud of is that the song and video never lost the pure joy from the day it was birthed,” Kesha wrote for Rolling Stone. “It’s important for me that people know that there are a lot of emotions on my new album Rainbow - but the wild fun energy that first inspired me to perform has not, and will never, go away. I'm still a motherfuckerrr.”

Watch the video for "Praying" here:

Written by Kylie Obermeier