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Kesha’s new album calls for change

D’Arcy Briggs

November 5, 2018

Kesha’s newest single, Here Comes the Change, is a powerful ballad focused squarely on equality and social justice. The song will be featured in the upcoming film On the Basis of Sex, following the political life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The song lyrically focuses on equality and justice for all, with a lyric video that pays tribute to the strong political heritage of activism in America that continues to this day.

Kesha gained popularity in 2010 with some chart-topping singles, but became more of a public figure for her lawsuit against Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald (Dr. Luke) for sexual assault, emotional abuse, and more in 2014. The New York Supreme Court dropped the case in 2016, reasoning that the two most specific incidents of assault mentioned in her suit had overreached the statute of limitations. While the court ultimately sided with Sony and Dr. Luke, an outpouring of support from other celebrities and from the #metoo movement helped give a stronger voice to her struggle and she has become a strong voice for those who continue to face discrimination.

The pop-infused country song starts “One day I’ll be gone/ The world will keep turning/ I hope I leave this place/ better than I found it,’ and only gets more powerful and poignant. The anthemic chorus of “Oh, here comes the change/ Oh, we're comin' of age/ This is not a phase / Here comes, here comes the change.” starts with only the lead vocal track, and builds throughout the song, echoing the song’s thesis that we must all work together to build a brighter future. While the song itself might be a far cry from the dance-pop style that Kesha’s early work follows, fans of 2017’s Rainbow should find this song more than welcoming.

“Together we can prove to our leaders and the rest of the world that we will not tolerate challenges to equality and freedom in our country,” Kesha wrote in a blog post for Refinery29. This mantra is central to the song’s lyric video, featuring archival footage of protests, rallies, and a narrative of contemporary struggles. The video ends with a focus on the non-profit NGO HeadCount. “The message is that the long, proud tradition of American social activism is alive and well. It’s being passed on to the next generation,” writes Kesha. “It will continue to evolve one success at a time, and is as important as ever. At the end of the video we brought in volunteers from HeadCount, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people to register to vote and we set up a URL to guide people how to register.”

While, as revolutionary socialists, it can seem easy to point out the contradictions between electoral reform and the social change featured in the video, artists and pop icons like Kesha should be supported when they are able to use their platform to question the status quo, be it sexism, right-wing populism, or other bigoted movements. Here Comes the Change will serve as an anthem for many and can serve as a sign of a future worth fighting for, a future that is coming.

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