Kelsea Ballerini's new single "Legends" is a bittersweet love song that marries her pop-friendly sound to a hook that has more bite. The song hurts, even as you're smiling.

Ballerini has promised an album full of songs about an ex-lover and her current love, and "Legends" is found squarely in the middle. It's a rare country song that looks back on the end of a relationship with a gratitude. There's no regret, bitterness or contempt aimed with a shotgun at a guy who did her wrong, just true understanding that what they had was wonderful, but it needed to end.

That's a rare kind of maturity for a 23-year-old, but Ballerini is the rarest of millennials. The song stays true to what she's released previously, but the new single is thicker with an arrangement that's almost orchestral. It's certainly dramatic — a fine accompaniment to the story she's telling. "Legends" does something she didn't always do on songs from The First Time. It's a complete effort, with everyone in the room committed to a shared vision.

Did You Know?: Frequent Ballerini collaborator Forest Glen Whitehead co-wrote "Legends" with Ballerini and Hilary Lindsey.

Listen to Kelsea Ballerini, "Legends"

Kelsea Ballerini Talks About Songs From Her Upcoming Album

Kelsea Ballerini's "Legends" Lyrics:

We were golden, we were fire, we were magic / Yeah and they all knew our names all over town / We had it made in the middle of the madness / We were neon in a gray cloud / Yeah, we wrote our own story / Full of blood sweat and heartbeats / We didn’t do it for the fame or the glory / But we went down in history.

Yeah we were legends / Loving you baby it was heaven / What everyone wondered we’d never question / Close our eyes and took on the world together / Do you remember / We were crazy / Tragic and epic and so amazing / I’ll always wear the crown that you gave me / We will always stay lost in forever / And they’ll remember / We were legends.

Like we were written down in permanent marker / Not even the brightest sun could ever fade / ome whichever hell or high water / It was always me and you either way / Hey we wrote our own story / Full of blood sweat and heartbeats / We didn’t do it for the fame or the glory / We just did it for you and me / And that’s why we were legends.

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