Kelsea Ballerini Gets Retro
“If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too)” Music Video
Multiple Grammy nominee and Country Music Association award winner Kelsea Ballerini knows how to mix up styles, be it music or fashion. For the plucky “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too),” the East Tennessee songwriter again taps director Patrick Tracy for a stylized clip that takes the mandolin’n’dobro-threaded recording to a group of gossipy girlfriends in a classic ‘60s/’70s cul-de-sac community. Watch HERE.
Evoking the Harry Styles/Florence Pugh “Don’t Worry Darling” with bright pastel vintage fashions mixed with modern day Versace and Chanel coupled with midcentury modern homes, Ballerini swings from charming young wife next door to murderess with a comedic swing that recalls Lucille Ball in all her glory or the Chicks in their full romping “Goodbye Earl.” Cupcakes, carving knives, Clorox, cops, and cocktail dresses, as well as squad cars, sunhats, rose by the pool, tea parties, flower beds, push mowers and a nosy neighbor define the feel-good clip created with the director behind “Half of My Hometown,” which won the CMA award for Video of the Year.
“I wanted something that had a real look and feel to it,” Ballerini explains. “But it needed to be fun… and funny. I wanted something that made people laugh and clink their glasses, because when I wrote this, I wanted ‘If You Go Down’ to be a song that was a reason to turn up the dial.”
Beyond the obvious – shovel blows to a body, an arm in the petunias – there’s the notion of ride-or-die girlfriends who know there’s nothing friends for life can’t get you through. Marveling at knowing her friends “since Brad and Angelina,” and “we go back like Pontiac seats,” it’s a sense of community that transcends the day-to-day for a loyalty that remains no matter what.
Whether the perfect gingham pool wear, the heavy pours, the Anna Sui meets Barbiecore aesthetic or the crazy laughter in the back of the police car, these are sisters who were not only doing it for themselves, but reveling in the spirit of what they share. As the song’s second verse confesses, “It’s a good thing we’re each other’s kinda crazy/ Ain’t no judgement or keepin’ score/ if you rob a bank, I’m your getaway Mercedes/ God knows, that’s what friends are for…”
For Ballerini, who’s been creating a place for regular girls in country music even as she’s chased unthinkable dreams across her career, “If You Go Down” is one more pledge and manifesto for women who stand by their friends. Equal parts tongue in cheek and retro chic, she delivers a moment of utter charm wrapped around a body count that nobody can quite add up.
“Obviously, it’s not true, but it’s fun to sing a line like ‘Hypothetically, if you ever kill your husband, Hand on the Bible, I’d be lying through my teeth…’,” she confesses with a laugh. “Nobody would ever do that, but it’s the kind of joke you can take in a song that’s funny.”
The Black River Entertainment artist returns to the road this weekend as special guest on Kenny Chesney’s I Go Back Tour before co-hosting and performing on the 2023 CMT Awards airing LIVE from Austin, Texas’ Moody Center on Sunday, April 2nd (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.