The singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, a young master of the art of rootsy country reveries, released his debut album Dying Star in 2018, and he followed it up last year by covering other artists — including Taylor Swift, Blink-182, and Dashboard Confessional — on his Dirt Emo Vol. 1 EP. Today, Kelly is announcing that his second proper album is called Shape & Destroy and that it’ll be coming out later this summer.
As Clash reports, Shape & Destroy features Kelly getting into heavy subjects like sobriety and trauma. Kacey Musgraves, who happens to be married to Kelly, sings backup vocals on the LP. Back in April, Kelly released the single “Brave,” which turns out to be the first track that we’ve heard from Shape & Destroy. Today, he’s shared the second.
“Rubber,” Kelly’s latest single, is an acoustic ramble that makes great use of his softly raspy burr. It’s a sort of overthinker’s lament: “And she’s like Agatha Christie/ And I’m more like Voltaire/ Everything is a theory/ Carried away with the morning air.” In the video, two dancers run through an emotional routine in a dimly lit room full of candles. Check it out below, along with the album’s tracklist and what Kelly has to say about the new song.
“Rubber” is about the fear of being too malleable. Being pulled in too many directions without honoring the substance of your own. So you question everything to get back to the essential truth of yourself. My friends and directors, Stephen Kinigopoulos & Alexa King, came up with a brilliant representation of this through the use of sign language and free form dance that perfectly exemplifies the songs intent.
01 “In The Blue”
02 “Radio Cloud”
05 ‘Mid-Morning Lament”
10 “Closest Thing”
12 “Under The Sun”
13 “Hallelujah Anyway”
Shape & Destroy is out 8/28 on Rounder Records.