The jump from figure skating to country singer is a rare one, but Ruston Kelly uses skills from his competitive skating days to dramatic effect in the beautiful new music video for his song “Son of a Highway Daughter.”
Kelly and a female companion, both of whom are dressed in black, skate in tandem around a dimly lit ice rink, their movements tracked by a spotlight. The opening two-thirds of the song, done a capella with Kelly’s autotuned, layered vocals, are matched by some particularly expressive and interpretive dancing, including Kelly cradling his partner while they lie on the ice. When the closing third of the song, and with it the full band, kicks in, the dance routine gets blown similarly wide open, as the pair’s movements become joyous and explosive, dotted triumphantly with leaps and sweeping movements.
Without words or a clear narrative arc, the video for “Son of a Highway Daughter” in many ways mirrors the themes of the album it appears on, Dying Star. “Dying Star [is] something where you do have to put something to death for something to live again, for you to feel like your own ‘phoenix’ story,” he recently told Rolling Stone Country. “Get out of there. Be someone new. You can be whoever the fuck you want to be in a song.”
Dying Star, Kelly’s debut full-length, was released by Rounder Records on September 7th. Currently on tour with Katie Pruitt, he plays a sold-out show at Mercury Lounge in New York City on October 23rd.