Female singer-songwriters have made a habit of coming together to present special seasonal songwriter rounds at City Winery Nashville, benefiting a variety of non-profit organizations. This season, the Girls of Summer headed to the beautiful venue, filling the room with the voices of Caitlyn Smith, Lori McKenna, Nicolle Galyon, Heather Morgan, Maggie Chapman, Jessi Alexander, Lucie Silvas, and more. While those who purchased tickets to the event (benefiting The Raining Season) expected a wide array of talents, they also received quite the special treat.
Unbeknownst to show-goers, Black River Entertainment‘s Number 1 artist, Kelsea Ballerini, made a cameo at the event, joining a round and sharing her talents with surprised onlookers. Included in Kelsea’s set was an uncut track that she wrote solo, explaining it was presented to her label too late to make its way on to her debut album The First Time.
The song, “High School,” is somewhat reminiscent of Kelsea’s gorgeous fan favorite “Peter Pan” with the never grow up mentality and her album’s final track, “Underage,” in its tranquility. As is typical with Kelsea, the song is written in the cleverest of ways, this time relaying her message in unique fashion with a twist at the end.
“High School” tells the story of a man who is stuck in high school five years after the fact, as well as the young girl turned woman who he can’t seem to let go, despite her ongoing cues that life is moving forward and he is a part of the past. In a point-of-view shifting third verse, Kelsea begins to sing in the second person, as opposed to the previous third person, making it clear that she is the twenty-something who grew wings and flew away from the hallowed hallway and doesn’t want to look back.
Combining her unparalleled writing skills with controlled, beautiful vocals, Kelsea silenced the crowd as it absorbed every moment of the Number 1 artist’s presence on the stage and the very rare opportunity to hear an unreleased track. Watch Kelsea perform “High School” below and let us know what you think of the song that didn’t make it to the table in time for The First Time.