Ruston Kelly’s highly anticipated full-length debut album, Dying Star, is out today. Purchase/stream HERE. Released on Rounder Records, Dying Starwas co-produced byKelly and Jarrad K (Kate Nash, Weezer) and features 14 songs written/co-written by Kelly.

In celebration of the release, Kelly performed his new song “Faceplant” earlier this week on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Watch/share HERE.

Recent critical acclaim for Kelly and Dying Star

“Damn, is he good…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.” – NPR

“…finds Kelly channeling the dark minimalism of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska with a stark guitar-and-a-harmonica aesthetic.” – Rolling Stone

“…an emotional powerhouse…If you’ve ever had a taste for somber country songs capable of ripping you apart, you ought to make time for Ruston Kelly’s opening blast.” – Stereogum

“…mesmerizingly smooth voice…” – Billboard

“…Kelly defines modern folk-rock songwriting. It’s music with an ear-worm melody that you can’t help but whistle along to but laced with sincere lyrics that bare the deepest part of the singer’s soul.” – EARMILK

In support of the new album, Kelly will first play a headline show at The Slaughtered Lamb, London, before undertaking a full UK tour in support of The Wandering Hearts.

Recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX, Dying Star features Kelly (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, xylophone, harmonica), Jarrad K (12-string guitar, background vocals, electric guitar, Rhodes), Tim Kelly (pedal steel), Ian Fitchuk (piano, organ, drums, percussion), Eli Beaird (bass) and Kyle Ryan (banjo) as well as background vocals from Jon Green, Natalie Hemby, Kacey Musgraves, Kate York, Abby Sevigny and Joy Williams.

Of the album, Kelly comments, “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.”


The release of Dying Star follows a breakout year for the Nashville-based artist, whose debut EP, Halloween, was released last April to widespread acclaim. Of the music, Rolling Stone praised, “…shows a powerful grasp on storytelling gleaned from his love of the Carter Family and Townes Van Zandt, but also a more ragged rock & roll soul: it’s Americana, if your Americana is Bruce Springsteen with an acoustic guitar, sung by someone who spins a little heavy metal too,” while the HuffPost declared, “simultaneously current and effortlessly timeless.”

Born in South Carolina, Kelly started playing guitar under the guidance of his dad, Tim “TK” Kelly, a pedal steel guitarist who now performs in his band. Since his father worked for a paper mill and often changed job locations, Kelly grew up frequently moving, living everywhere from Alabama to Belgium, including time in Michigan—where the young one-time figure skater went to train with an Olympic coach in the hope of furthering his career, and where he first began writing songs. At 17, he moved to Nashville to live with his sister and went on to land a publishing deal with BMG Nashville, placing songs with several high-profile artists.


1. Cover My Tracks (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
2. Mockingbird (written by Ruston Kelly)
3. Son Of A Highway Daughter (written by Ruston Kelly)
4. Paratrooper’s Battle Cry (written by Ruston Kelly)
5. Faceplant (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Brendan Benson)
6. Blackout (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Joy Williams)
7. Big Brown Bus (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Ricky Brantley)
8. Mercury (written by Ruston Kelly)
9. Anchors (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K)
10. Just For The Record (written by Ruston Kelly, Jarrad K, Lucie Silvas)
11. Trying To Let Her (written by Ruston Kelly, Joe Leathers, Kyle Jacobs)
12. Jericho (written by Ruston Kelly, Joy Williams, Natalie Hemby)
13. Dying Star (written by Ruston Kelly, Caitlyn Smith, Rollie Gaalswyk)
14. Brightly Burst Into The Air (written by Ruston Kelly)


September 17 – London, U.K – The Slaughtered Lamb
November 21 – Bath, U.K. – Komedia †
November 22 – Brighton, U.K. – Patterns †
November 24 – Exeter, U.K. – The Phoenix †
November 26 – Norwich, U.K. – Norwich Arts Centre †
November 27 – Ramsgate, U.K. – Ramsgate Music Hall †
November 28 – London, U.K. – Islington Assembly Hall †
November – 30—Cardiff, U.K. – The Globe †
December 1 – Liverpool, U.K. – Arts Club Upstairs †
December 3 – Newcastle, U.K. – The Riverside †
December 4 – Edinburgh, U.K. – The Caves †
December 5 – Birmingham, U.K. – Institute2 †

† supporting The Wandering Hearts

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