RUSTON KELLY’S “UNDER THE SUN” MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERES AT ESQUIRE

NEW ALBUM SHAPE & DESTROY RELEASED TO CRITICAL ACCLAIM

The official music video for Ruston Kelly’s new song, “Under The Sun,” is premiering today at Esquire alongside an in-depth feature. Watch/share HERE. Of Kelly and his critically acclaimed new album, Shape & Destroy, Esquire praises, “Kelly…has always been transparent about his struggles with addiction and maintaining his sobriety. In his sophomore album, Shape & Destroy, the Nashville-based artist doesn’t shy away from facing these experiences—he confronts them head on, with a new sense of optimism about life after addiction.”

Directed by longtime visual collaborators Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa King, the video is the latest unveiled from Shape & Destroy, which was released late last month on Rounder Records (stream/purchase here). Co-produced by Kelly and Jarrad K (Kate Nash, Weezer) and recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios in upstate New York, the album documents Kelly’s journey through maintaining his sobriety and facing his past with unvarnished honesty, grace and conviction.

Recent critical praise for Shape & Destroy:

“Ruston Kelly’s never been one to shy from harsh realism and ugly truth.
Within Shape & Destroy’s sparse settings, he embraces a heart-on-sleeve sentimentalism.”—NPR Music

“He deepens his emotional palette on Shape & Destroy, recognizing daily self-improvement as a topic just as worthy of a three-minute song as far more sexy Nashville tropes” The Best Albums of August 2020—Rolling Stone

“one of the sharpest, most empathetic songwriters working
today”—Entertainment Weekly

“his most hopeful, ambitious record to date”—Men’s Health

“heart-wrecking”—Stereogum

“sure to be an enchanting, emotional masterpiece”—Paste

“stunning…one of the best albums released so far this year” ★★★★1/2American Songwriter

“outstanding songsmith…magical, incredibly raw feel”—Nashville Scene

“The delicate nature of self-reflection is perfectly demonstrated”—DuJour

“there’s nothing sophomoric about this post-teenage angst…undeniable
melodies and enlightened confessionals power a quest toward self-
forgiveness.”—Nashville Lifestyles

“the record is a balm, something to soothe during troubled times…well-suited for moments of introspection, moments when a listener is searching for sustenance and reassurance somewhere outside of themselves.”—All Music

“achingly beautiful…we could all do well to hear and absorb Kelly’s
words”—No Depression

“his best work yet”—The Alternative


Reflecting on Shape & Destroy, Kelly shares, “Making this record definitely taught me that I don’t want to be selfish: I want to channel something larger than myself and give myself to the process as fully as possible, because these songs also become the story of whoever hears them. Whatever someone might get out of listening to this record and hearing me express myself in this way, it’s completely theirs.”

In addition to Kelly (vocals, acoustic guitar, high-strung acoustic, electric guitar, piano, percussion, sandpaper, mandolin) and Jarrad K (electric guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, piano, Rhodes, Hammond M3, percussion, student bells, background vocals), the album also features Kelly’s father Tim “TK” Kelly (steel guitar, background vocals), Eli Beaird (bass, background vocals) and Eric Slick (drums, percussion, background vocals) as well as special guests Gena Johnson, Abby Kelly and Kacey Musgraves on background vocals.

Earlier this month, Kelly was also featured as part of NPR Music’s 20|20 series discussing the 20th anniversary of Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag,” two versions of which are included on Kelly’s Dirt Emo Vol 1, released last fall. Of Kelly’s interpretations of the classic emo anthem, NPR Music praises, “‘Teenage Dirtbag’ is the guest of honor…once as a quiet solo meditation, and again as a country-pop panorama as splendidly realized as any of Kelly’s own best work, with revoiced chords, a slowed tempo, soaring pedal steel and the artist’s gruff tenor selling the hell out of it all…Kelly manages to evoke the song’s core sentiment with a startling sincerity. Listen closely to the band version, recorded live onstage, and you’ll hear the crowd singing along not in drunken ardor, but gently, like a church choir.” Read the full feature HERE.

Shape & Destroy marks yet another breakthrough moment for the Nashville-based artist, who released his full-length debut album, Dying Star, in 2018. Also co-produced by Kelly and Jarrad K, Dying Star received widespread critical acclaim and landed on several “Best of 2018” lists including Rolling Stone, Paste, UPROXX, American Songwriter and NPR Music, which declared, “Kelly digs down deep on Dying Star to fearlessly put forth a set of songs steeped in emotional twists, turns and complications…This here is powerful stuff.” Additionally, Rolling Stone proclaimed, “one of the most magnetic releases of the year,” and The Fader praised, “a uniquely emotional and raw collection about our ability to build a new life from the ashes.” Kelly also released Dirt Emo Vol. 1 this past fall—a project consisting of eight new covers of his favorite emo songs including Dashboard Confessional’s “Screaming Infidelities” featuring the band’s lead singer Chris Carrabba, Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag,” The Carter Family’s “Weeping Willow” and Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well,” which earned praise from Swift herself.

For more information, please contact Asha Goodman 615.320.7753, Catherine Snead 615.320.7753 or Carla Sacks 212.741.1000 at Sacks & Co.

SHAPE & DESTROY TRACK LIST
1. In The Blue
2. Radio Cloud
3. Alive
4. Changes
5. Mid-Morning Lament
6. Brave
7. Clean
8. Rubber
9. Jubilee
10. Closest Thing
11. Pressure
12. Under The Sun
13. Hallelujah Anyway

https://www.rustonkelly.com