Happy Monday, y’all.
Today for the Song of the Week, we have a new one from Ruston Kelly.
He released his third studio album The Weakness this past Friday, which actually has a really interesting story behind it.
After a very public divorce from fellow country singer Kacey Musgraves in 2020, Ruston moved to small town Portland, Tennessee, and spent three months on end in deliberate solitude, reading John Steinbeck novels and remodeling his new Victorian bungalow.
It was out there during many moths of deep self-reflection that he became inspired to write this batch of songs, which exemplify the learning and growth he experienced during this particular chapter of life:
“With every record I make, I learn so much about myself and who I am as a human and what type of man I want to be.
In a way it’s a form of self-help, or like I’m building a fort against a lesser version of myself. Then the goal from there is to just keep on growing.”
And one of my early favorites from the 12-song tracklist is called “Breakdown,” which has an almost alt-pop sound to it that I love.
Ruston says he wrote it during a time when he was going through a lot with his family, but felt like he couldn’t handle all the pressure that he felt internally then:
“I wrote that at a time when there was a lot going on with my family and I was trying to be there for them, but I felt stretched so thin.
The song came from me admitting I’m not superhuman, and somehow just saying that out loud made me feel more capable of handling the pressure.”
Ruston is such a talented songwriter, and the melody here is so catchy, plus, I think the subject matter on this song is something anyone on the planet can relate to in some way.
Definitely give the whole record a spin, but if you’re unfamiliar with Ruston’s work, this is a great place to start: