Every album Kelsea Ballerini has released so far has had a solo-write. The First Time had “First Time”, Unapologetically had “High School”, and kelsea, Ballerini’s third album due March 20th now has “la”. The latter was released today as an instant-grat track to celebrate the news of her upcoming record.
“I’ve got a love and hate relationship with LA”, she sings on the first line that doubles as the hook. It instantly grabs your attention, because it’s clear that she’s about to tell a story.
And she does. It’s the story of a girl who loves the city lights but misses home/Nashville. In California, she plays dress-up, debates calling famous friends, and questions if she’ll be invited to the party. It’s this tug of war feeling like she’s not cool enough to be in her own shoes and feeling like LA is her place. Each time she dips her toe into the ocean or takes a step onto a red carpet, however, she finds herself looking at real estate and falling in love with the red sunsets.
The storyline is so compelling because of its overall relatability. It’s about anxiety and navigation, and how to find your place in a world that feels so foreign. The bridge of the song is where it all comes together brilliantly. “Sometimes it feels like it’s all real but nothing here is as it seems,” she sings softly. “I ask myself, does it feed my soul or my anxiety / Carpet’s red, ego’s fed, but it’s myself that I have to face / I’ve got a love and hate relationship with LA”.
Vocally, Ballerini’s performance is beautiful. She sings delicately and honestly as if reading an entry from her diary. Technically she is. “It’s the most vulnerable thing I’ve publically shared,” she said on Instagram. “It came out as a stream of consciousness that fell into the form of a poem.”
Ballerini produced the song with Jimmy Robbins, who co-wrote and co-produced her last two singles. Together, they have created a sound that is guitar-heavy and stacks of vocals and harmonies. It’s memorable and distinctive, and perfectly reflects the vibe of the song.
“la” is the 13th and final track off kelsea, and it makes sense that it is. It tells Ballerini’s whole story, which is that she’s as lost as she is found. Each song that’s been released from this project so far has said the same thing: that she’s human. It’s a new year, a new decade, and a new Kelsea.
Her new album kelsea is out March 20th, and you can pre-order it here.
“la” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.
Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!
Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!