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Kesha and Taylor Swift Find New Voices


Kesha’s new album, “Rainbow,” is her first record made without creative input from Dr. Luke.

Olivia Bee

The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news.

For the last three years, the pop star Kesha has been involved in a legal battle with Dr. Luke, the producer and songwriter who worked with her on music that reached a big audience early in this decade — her platinum album, “Animal,” arrived in 2010” — and to whose companies she was, and is, contractually obligated.

Last Friday, Kesha returned with a new album, “Rainbow,” the first body of work she has released since the tensions spilled out into public. It’s a strong album, and one utterly different from the music she made her name with, showcasing different sides to her voice and taking on different genre approaches, from country to glammy rock. Its lead single, “Praying,” just rose to No. 24 on the Billboard 200, and the full album is poised for a No. 1 debut.

When Kesha’s legal battle with Dr. Luke first made headlines in February 2016, Taylor Swift announced through her spokeswoman that she would donate $250,000 to the singer “to help with any of her financial needs during this trying time.” This week, Kesha cheered Ms. Swift on Twitter as Ms. Swift won her own victory in court — a jury in Denver found that a radio host had groped her during a photo opportunity, awarding her the $1 in compensation she had requested.

On this week’s Popcast, Mr. Caramanica discusses Kesha’s music and her ongoing legal situation, as well as the conclusion of Ms. Swift’s trial, with Caryn Ganz, The New York Times’s pop music editor, who recently reviewed Kesha’s new album; and Joe Coscarelli, the New York Times’s pop music reporter, who has been closely following Kesha’s contractual battles.

Email your questions, thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in pop music to popcast@nytimes.com.

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