Kelsea Ballerini is back with a brand new single, ‘HEARTFIRST,’ ahead of her next album! The song, written with Alysa Vanderheym and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and produced by country hitmaker Shane McAnally, is a certified bop. Kelsea brings her signature brightness to the song, a jam we will be playing on repeat this summer with its infectious chorus and breezy vibes.
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‘HEARTFIRST’ is upbeat and instantly makes us wanna dance. It feels like a summer night at sunset at a beach party, warm from a bonfire and sunburns and an ocean breeze dancing over you. She sings, “I’m gonna jump right in, baby with my heart first.” After living through the last couple of years, this song is a reminder to live your best life with your whole heart.
Kelsea made her country debut with the hit single ‘Love Me Like You Mean It,’ which, in case you were wondering, slaps just as much now as it did in 2015. Ever since, she’s been serving us with songs about love and heartbreak and everything ‘In Between.’ Her lyrics are honest and vulnerable, which makes her one of the most relatable artists out there, and we love that about her!
So in honor of Kelsea Ballerini blessing us with new music, here are three other times she showed us how to put our ‘HEARTFIRST’ through music!
This B-side from her debut album, The First Time, is a standout ballad about Kelsea’s parents. The super-personal song tells the story with lyrics like, “Am I the product of a problem that I couldn’t change? / Got his eyes, got her hair / So do I get their mistakes?”
In May 2020, she sang the song live on her Instagram for the first time ever. In the caption, she said, “‘Secondhand Smoke’ is the one song I’ve put on an album that I knew I would never perform live because it was something too real for me to get through. I thought a way to celebrate my first album would be to play a bit for you for the first time…five years later. // ps- you don’t have to choke. pss- I love my parents.”
On her second album, Unapologetically, she captured the feeling of every teen and twenty-something with ‘In Between.’ She sings, “Dumb enough to think I know it all / Smart enough to know I don’t / Young enough to think I’ll live forever / Old enough to know I won’t / In between.” The song describes exactly what it feels like to be growing up and trying to find your place in the world between kid and adult. It’s such a comforting feeling to know the artists we love can seem larger than life, but at the end of the day, they’re going through the same changes as everyone else.
‘homecoming queen? – ballerini album version’
The original version of ‘homecoming queen?’ was released as the first single from Kelsea’s third album kelsea, but the even more stripped down and raw recording of it on the ballerini album truly showcases what a special track it is. ‘homecoming queen?’ addresses vulnerability through the story of the seemingly-perfect typical high school figure of homecoming queen. The song lets the listeners know that it’s okay not to be okay. Especially for women, who are often more pressured to keep it all together and prove themselves, the song offers a safe place for letting yourself be vulnerable. And on the ballerini version, it feels even more heartfelt, as if Kelsea is singing it live around a crackling fire.
In conclusion, Kelsea Ballerini has basically mastered the art of putting her ‘HEARTFIRST’ into music and therefore letting her fans do the same by listening.
Up next, she will perform ‘HEARTFIRST’ live for the very first time at the CMT Music Awards on April 11 while co-hosting the show with Anthony Mackie. She’s also the newest face of COVERGIRL, and will be releasing a makeup collab with them later this year!
Listen to ‘HEARTFIRST’ here!
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