Nearly four years on from Katy Perry’s last album ‘Prism’, and the world feels like a very different place indeed. Katy herself hasn’t pulled any punches when it comes to her thoughts on Donald Trump’s regime, and describes herself on Twitter as ‘Artist. Activist. Conscious.’ It’s therefore very little surprise that her new single ‘Chained To The Rhythm’ (written with Sia, Max Martin and Ali Payami, as well as featuring Bob Marley’s grandson Skip) sees her moving away from the self-empowerment anthems she’s become a dab hand at to craft a more collective, socially-conscious rally cry.
Okay, you have to look past the frankly adorable accompanying lyric video (which features teeny-tiny food being made for a hamster and a squidgy owl helping you to sing along). It simply masks the fact that here, Katy is asking us to step out of our own little bubbles and band together for something greater. Across a reggae-disco beat she regrets the fact that some people are content put “rose-coloured glasses on/ And party on”, resulting in them being “chained to the rhythm”. It’s got a clever double-meaning behind it. Not only does it reference the clubs that people end up “stumbling around like a wasted zombie” in, but also implies that people are chaining themselves to the social and political status quo.
Katy suggests that “we could do better than that” but doesn’t get too preachy either. Instead, she simply plants the seed in your mind that as a collective body we really could affect change. If this is what we can expect from Katy Perry in 2017, bring on that new album.