Kelsea Ballerini Gets Retro, Goes All In For Humor
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (March 30, 2023) -- Multiple Grammy nominee and Country Music Association award winner Kelsea Ballerini knows how to mix up styles, be it music or fashion. For the plucky “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too),” the East Tennessee songwriter again taps director Patrick Tracy for a stylized clip that takes the mandolin’n’dobro-threaded recording to a group of gossipy girlfriends in a classic ‘60s/’70s cul-de-sac community. Watch HERE.
Ballerini will debut the video online at 10:00 p.m. Central tonight while CMT and MTV will broadcast premiere the video tomorrow beginning at 6am EST/5am CST.
Evoking the Harry Styles/Florence Pugh “Don’t Worry Darling” with bright pastel vintage fashions mixed with modern day Versace and Chanel coupled with midcentury modern homes, Ballerini swings from charming young wife next door to murderess with a comedic swing that recalls Lucille Ball in all her glory or the Chicks in their full romping “Goodbye Earl.” Cupcakes, carving knives, Clorox, cops, and cocktail dresses, as well as squad cars, sunhats, rose by the pool, tea parties, flower beds, push mowers and a nosy neighbor define the feel-good clip created with the director behind “Half of My Hometown,” which won the CMA award for Video of the Year.
“I wanted something that had a real look and feel to it,” Ballerini explains. “But it needed to be fun... and funny. I wanted something that made people laugh and clink their glasses, because when I wrote this, I wanted ‘If You Go Down’ to be a song that was a reason to turn up the dial.”
Beyond the obvious – shovel blows to a body, an arm in the petunias – there’s the notion of ride-or-die girlfriends who know there’s nothing friends for life can’t get you through. Marveling at knowing her friends “since Brad and Angelina,” and “we go back like Pontiac seats,” it’s a sense of community that transcends the day-to-day for a loyalty that remains no matter what.
Whether the perfect gingham pool wear, the heavy pours, the Anna Sui meets Barbiecore aesthetic or the crazy laughter in the back of the police car, these are sisters who were not only doing it for themselves, but reveling in the spirit of what they share. As the song’s second verse confesses, “It’s a good thing we’re each other’s kinda crazy/ Ain’t no judgement or keepin’ score/ if you rob a bank, I’m your getaway Mercedes/ God knows, that’s what friends are for...”
For Ballerini, who’s been creating a place for regular girls in country music even as she’s chased unthinkable dreams across her career, “If You Go Down” is one more pledge and manifesto for women who stand by their friends. Equal parts tongue in cheek and retro chic, she delivers a moment of utter charm wrapped around a body count that nobody can quite add up.
“Obviously, it’s not true, but it’s fun to sing a line like ‘Hypothetically, if you ever kill your husband, Hand on the Bible, I’d be lying through my teeth...’,” she confesses with a laugh. “Nobody would ever do that, but it’s the kind of joke you can take in a song that’s funny.”
The Black River Entertainment artist returns to the road this weekend as special guest on Kenny Chesney’s I Go Back Tour before co-hosting and performing on the 2023 CMT Awards airing LIVE from Austin, Texas’ Moody Center on Sunday, April 2nd (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
The rare voice publications from Rolling Stone, New York Times and People to The Washington Post and American Songwriter have all featured, she’s the kind of force-of-life performer who can serve as direct and sole support for the 8-time Entertainer of the Year, as well as being a voice for girls coming into their own across America.
About Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini has consistently made history. With the release of her debut album The First Time (Black River), she became the “only female country artist to hit #1 with the first three consecutive singles from a debut album.” This history-making feat helped earn the honeyed alto a Best New Artist GRAMMY nomination. She has logged five back-to-back Top 10 entries on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, including the platinum-selling The First Time , gold-selling Unapologetically , gold-selling kelsea , ballerini , and SUBJECT TO CHANGE . With seven #1 singles and 31 certifications from the RIAA to date, her catalog boasts a string of essential smashes such as the double-platinum “Miss Me More” and “Peter Pan,” platinum-selling “half of my hometown” feat. Kenny Chesney and “hole in the bottle” with Shania Twain, and gold-selling “I Quit Drinking” with LANY. Among dozens of accolades thus far, she has garnered three GRAMMY® Award nominations, won two ACM Awards, picked up two CMA Awards, took home the iHeartRadio Music Awards honor for “Best New Artist,” and received multiple career nominations from the ACM Awards, American Music Awards, CMA Awards, CMT Awards, and People’s Choice Awards. She concluded 2021 as the “#3 most-played female artist on country radio” and CMT “Artist of the Year” in addition to picking up “Musical Event of the Year” and “Video of the Year” at the CMA Awards for “half of my hometown.” Kelsea scored a nomination in the category of “Single of the Year” at the 2022 CMA Awards for “half of my hometown,” and she notched a People’s Choice Awards nomination for “Country Artist of 2022.” Kelsea led the field for 2022 CMT Music Awards nominations with three nominations for “Video of The Year,” “Collaborative Video of The Year” and “CMT Performance of The Year.” Not to mention, she snagged a nomination for “Music Event of the Year” for the 2022 ACM Awards as both artist and producer of “half of my hometown.” This marked Kelsea’s first ACM nomination as a producer. Expanding her sphere of influence, she authored her first original book of poetry Feel Your Way Through, and Dolly Parton tapped her to star in the audiobook of Run, Rose, Run. In April 2022, Kelsea co-hosted the CMT Awards on CBS nationwide. On top of this, the multi-platinum country superstar was named the newest face of COVERGIRL. She has joined the brand in a multi-year partnership and is set to launch a cosmetic collaboration with the brand in 2023. She was inducted as a member of the famed Grand Ole Opry in 2019. At the time, she notably became the Opry’s youngest member in its nearly 100-year history since being founded in 1925. With these accolades, it is no wonder NPR proclaimed, “Kelsea Ballerini is definitely one of the most influential women in country right now… she’s defining the sound of the genre.”
Kelsea’s fourth album, SUBJECT TO CHANGE, arrived on September 23, 2022. The first single “HEARTFIRST,” quickly took over airwaves as the “most added song at country radio” the week of its release and was recently certified gold by the RIAA. Most recently, Kelsea earned a GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Country Solo Performance” for “HEARTFIRST.” Kelsea surprised fans with the release of her intimate six-song EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat (Black River) on February 14, 2023. The EP, along with an accompanying short film written and directed by Ballerini, marks the multi-platinum star’s most intimate and honest work to date. The project became an instant hit with fans and debuted to universal acclaim from critics including The New York Times, Variety, Rolling Stone and more. On the heels of the EP’s success, Kelsea made her Saturday Night Live debut on March 4, 2023. She recently wrapped the second leg of her sold-out headlining HEARTFIRST Tour and she’ll spend the rest of the Spring in arenas across the country as she joins Kenny Chesney on his I Go Back 2023 Tour.
Kelsea Ballerini is ready to continue making history in 2023 and beyond.