Ruston Kelly – “Jericho” Video

Ruston Kelly is a Nashville singer-songwriter who you may or may not recognize as the husband who had Kacey Musgraves so googly-eyed all over this year’s masterful Golden Hour. Kelly has a new album of his own called Dying Star out this year, and today he released its lead single. But first, here’s Kelly’s statement about the project for context:

A lot of my music is focused on suffering, or trying to understand the human condition through the lens of suffering…which probably sounds totally depressing, but it’s actually the flipside of that. Sometimes you’ve gotta go into that darkness — you need to get lost and then figure out for yourself how to find your way back. That’s the only way we can find pure joy, and really be thankful for the life we’ve been given.

OK, so: The new single, “Jericho,” is a warmly melancholy acoustic ballad in the vein of A.A. Bondy, Justin Townes Earle, or early Ryan Adams. It’s about learning to stand up for what you believe in, which seems as relevant now as ever. Kelly manages the feat of keeping his rich arrangement relatively minimal, so that when background vocals or harmonica rise up in the mix they really stand out. Musgraves sings a bit on the album, but I’m not sure if that’s her in the mix on this one. Honestly, the song is good enough to stand on its own, Kacey or no Kacey.

In the black and white video, Kelly rocks a Slayer T-shirt, hangs out with his dog, sprays some illicit graffiti, and fits in some music time while he’s at it. Watch below.

Dying Star is out 9/7 on Rounder. Pre-order it here.