Y’all heard Ruston Kelly’s debut album yet? Dying Star proves that the Nashville singer-songwriter is an absolute master of tears-in-your-beers alt-country, one who can tinker with the formula in rewarding ways or just shoot straight down the middle and leave you bawling right along with him.
One of the more leftfield offerings on the album is “Son Of A Highway Daughter,” on which Kelly explores a Bon Iver sound palette comprising nothing more than heavily processed vocal harmonies. Eventually the song builds into a more expansive arrangement reminiscent of peak-era Wilco. The lyrics are harrowing: “I woke up stoned with a bag of bones/ Laying in my bed/ She was breathing fire, I was a worn out tire/ Trying to brush her ash outside of my head.” Like many of Dying Star’s tracks, it’s a beauty.
“Son Of A Highway Daughter” gets a music video today, and it reveals that Kelly has another major talent besides his knack for gobsmacking roots-rock balladry: He’s really, really good at figure skating. Or as Kelly puts it on Twitter, “Yep I trained as a competitive figure skater for like 8 years and lemme tell ya it feels like you’re a fucking silk eagle.”
Specifically, I’d describe what Kelly and his partner do in the video as ice dancing. (UPDATE: No, I’ve been corrected, it’s figure skating.) They gracefully glide across a darkened rink, occasionally pausing for some dramatic interludes. The two of them don’t approach Virtue and Moir levels of pent-up sexual tension — and why would they, since Kelly and Kacey Musgraves are madly in love — but the routine puts a whole other spin on the guy’s artistry.
Watch below via NPR.
Dying Star is out now on Rounder. Purchase it here.