Kelsea Ballerini’s Infectious ‘Heartfirst’ Furthers 2022 as the Summer of Fun [Listen]
Kelsea Ballerini was right. Her new single "Heartfirst" is a bop. The singer's infectious summertime luster describes instant chemistry with an endless, unapologetic smile.
The track also picks up on this year's suddenly prevalent theme. Carrie Underwood is teasing a fun, sing-into-your-hairbrush album. Thomas Rhett just dropped his version of that exact thing. Ballerini noted that "Heartfirst" is the antithesis of her CMA Award-winning "Half of My Hometown," but that doesn't go far enough to describe the 180. This is the year for feel-good country songs, and the year to let all your influences come out to play.
A dreamy, acoustic open pins a vibrant arrangement that sits deeper in the mix than much of what Ballerini has released before. The song isn't quite a vocal showcase, but a story showcase. The Tennessean wants you to recall this kind of instant romance if you're old enough to do so.
With songs like "Hole in the Bottle," Ballerini let her country influences show, but this new song signals a return to the pop-country mix she does better than anyone in the format. "Dibs," "Yeah Boy" and "Miss Me More" pulled back a bow aimed at her target audience, and this new song is her Robin Hood arrow. Yep, the grouchies are going to complain when it plays on Top 40 country radio, but they'll smile doing it.
Did You Know?: Ballerini convinced her mom to move with her to Nashville to pursue a country career when she was just 15 years old.
Kelsea Ballerini, "Heartfirst" Lyrics:
Met him at a party / Accidentally brushed his body / On the way to get a drink at the bar / I couldn't wait 'til later / Talking in the elevator / Then we're kissing in the back of the car / That voice in my head says to slow down / But it can't see the way you're looking at me right now / It may not be next week what I need / Then again, maybe it might be.
Could be forever or we might break / That's just the kind of risk that we take / My head is yelling that I could get hurt / But I'm gonna jump right in, baby with my heart first / I gotta have you, gotta see if this works / I gotta have it, wake up in your t-shirt.
Who knows what'll happen / Ain't that always kind of magic / When you don't know who's holding the cards / Could be a wish I never knew ya / Or permanently tattoo ya / Only the moon knows what's in the stars / That voice in my head says to slow / But it can't feel your hands on my hips, right now / It may not be next year what I need / Then again, maybe it might be.
And I can't even stop myself anymore / Oh, we couldn't end the perfect night outside my front door.