Kelsea Ballerini gave fans the first listen to her third studio album on Friday (Sept. 6). The singer celebrated the start of a new era of music by releasing her brand-new single, "Homecoming Queen?"

An acoustic guitar accompanies Ballerini as she sings about "dancin' with your best foot forward." Steel guitar flourishes and light cymbals and tambourine join in at the chorus: "But what if I told you the world wouldn't end / If you started showin' what's under your skin / What if you let 'em all in on the lie / Even the homecoming queen cries."

"Homecoming Queen" will be a new side of Ballerini to those only familiar with her radio singles. The song is beautifully simple, putting the emphasis on the star's stunning vocal performance and reflective lyrics.

According to Ballerini, who participated in a Twitter chat with fans a few days before dropping her new single, the titular homecoming queen is "a metaphor for somebody that seemingly has it all together and polished from the outside looking in." She wrote the single on Feb. 21, with Nicolle Galyon and Jimmy Robbins, and calls it "definitely the most emotional single I've released."

Ballerini has yet to reveal the album title, track listing or release date of her third studio album, but she has shared that she's been working with some big-name co-writers and collaborators: pop artists Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder and Julia Michaels, as well as Lauv and Jon Bellion. "It's just been so cool to get in the room with people who have an artist perspective because it just adds a different energy into the song. They're thinking about how it's going to translate onstage, too ... [That] just adds a different flavor than I've gotten to share before," Ballerini says.

"Writing for the next project has been ... I've just been digging and just trying to figure out how I'm really feeling, what's really going on as a 25-year-old woman in this crazy world," she adds, "so it's a lot more vulnerable than I think I've put out before."

"Homecoming Queen?" follows Ballerini's final single from her sophomore album, "Miss Me More," which hit No. 1. The song is the fifth No. 1 of her career, which began in a mainstream way with the release of her debut single, "Love Me Like You Mean It," in 2014.

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