With a new album ready to hit the world in August, rising star Ruston Kelly has released “Radio Cloud” music video today. The video, which was directed by longtime video collaborators Stephen Kinigopoulos and Alexa King, is an ode to the late 1990s punk/emo music videos which were band heavy and tied to a loose narrative. Kelly shares that the video allowed him to “graffiti the room (in the video) myself which has a lot of little Easter eggs in there if you look close enough.
Already receiving widespread attention, Kelly was featured in an exclusive, in-depth profile last month at Entertainment Weekly, which praises, “There are little reminders woven all across the songs of Shape & Destroy…Reminders to have grace, to be forgiving to yourself and others, and to stay sober when your brain is screaming for reprieve. Profound reminders that life itself can be beautiful, even when the walls around us are caving in” and continues describing Kelly as, “one of the sharpest, most empathetic songwriters working today.”
Co-produced by Kelly and longtime collaborator Jarrad K (Kate Nash, Weezer) and recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios in upstate New York, Shape & Destroy documents Kelly’s journey through maintaining his sobriety and facing his past. He addresses these experiences and setbacks with unvarnished honesty, grace and conviction across 13 new songs including previously released album tracks “Rubber” and “Brave.” Of “Brave,” Men’s Health proclaimed, “Be prepared: this song is a sledgehammer straight to your heart,” while Rolling Stone declared it, “poignant.”
Reflecting on the album, Kelly comments, “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.