Kelsea Ballerini has released the first single and music video from her next studio album, which will be released next year.

It’s titled ‘homcoming queen?’ (yes with no capitals) and she says it’s the most personal song she’s ever recorded.

“‘homecoming queen?’ is a song about just letting yourself be yourself, and letting yourself feel whatever you feel,” says Ballerini.

“I think that we are living in a very filtered world right now, and especially my generation, we feel like we have to look a certain way, and be a certain way, and achieve certain things, and that if we don’t, it’s not right and we’re not right, she continues.

“I think, for me, I was in a really insecure season of my life, and no one would know that because I don’t show that. And then I wrote this song, and it helped make me feel better. And, now I feel better because I was able to just say, ‘Wait a second, I’m actually kinda not OK right now.’ And in saying that, I was able to be OK.”

Check out ‘homecoming queen?’

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She adds, “For this entire record, actually, I did a lot of writing camps, or they would come on my bus for the weekend, and we’d kind of, in between shows and meet & greets, write for three days. And Jimmy Robbins and Nicole Galyon came out this particular week in February, and I kind of cracked open, and I was like, ‘These are kind of the parts of my life that I’m really stressed out about right now.’ And Nicole was the one who had the title ‘homecoming queen,’ basically being the metaphor for all of us showing our best selves all the time, and her saying like, ‘I would have never known that you’re in an insecure season right now via your Instagram or via your interviews or whatever.’ So then I made the twist on it of ‘Even the homecoming queen cries’ and we wrote it, it was the first song of the weekend. And as soon as we wrote it, we were like, ‘Woah, that felt like a therapy session,’ and I feel like that’s when you know that you have something special.”

Ballerini will be in Australia in late September for C2C Australia.

Listen to Kelsea Ballerini on Episode #3 of the Tone Countrycast