'HEARTFIRST': Kelsea Ballerini Jumps Right In With 90s Country Vibes

Kelsea Ballerini finally debuted her new single “HEARTFIRST” and fans are already “obsessed” with the upbeat, breezy song. “It’s all about just following your heart (and) trusting your gut,” Ballerini explained. “I really believe that nothing great happens in life unless you take the risk and you take a leap of faith, and that’s what this whole song is about.”

Ballerini has been dropping hints about new music for months, and finally said on April 1 that a new song would release this Friday (April 8), saying at the time: “for those wondering, it is a bop.” Ballerini wrote “HEARTFIRST” with Karen Fairchild and Alysa VanderheymJulian Bunetta and Shane McAnally produced the song. Ballerini also noted that “HEARTFIRST” is one that earned approval from the three people who serve as her “litmus test on if it’s gonna be something that people will love or not.” This time, her husband (fellow country artist Morgan Evans), her best friend and her mom unanimously said “yes” to “HEARTFIRST.”

The single is the first taste of what fans have predicted is a “new era” for the award-winning country artist, and now they’re raving about Ballerini’s latest release: “OMG SUMMER BOP HELLO!! ITS SO GOOD KELSEA AHHH,” “KELSEA THIS IS SOOO AMAZING 🙌 song of the summer honey!!,” and “I AM OBSESSED!!!! I'm so happy right now!!!! This is making my heart so happy!!! I love you so much Kelsea!!!! 💙💙💙,” to name a few. Fellow country artists are also sharing their reactions to the new single, including Hannah Ellis, who said on her Instagram story that “HEARTFIRST” is “the kind of 90’s Faith Hill energy we need.”

“I chose ‘HEARTFIRST’ as the first single off the new project because I feel like it just sets the tone for everything I’m working on right now,” Ballerini said. “It’s very warm, very breezy-feeling, very settled. That’s kind of the tone of the whole project that I’m working on, and I feel like ‘HEARTFIRST’ was the first step into that new world.

“(My) favorite lyric in ‘HEARTFIRST’ is probably, ‘only the moon knows what’s in the stars,’ because I feel like that kind of shrinks down the whole song to just that one little lyric of just, that’s the chance,” she added. “You have to take it. You never know what’s gonna happen unless you try.”

Listen to “HEARTFIRST” here: