Cue the voodoo dolls and the spells. On Tuesday, Rolling Stone premiered the music video for Kelsy Karter‘s single “Rest in Pieces” featuring Goody Grace, the singer’s last pop-punk song before reinvention with her upcoming sophomore album.
“‘Rest in Pieces’ is a song about loving something or someone so much you might let it kill you,” she tells Rolling Stone. “Basically my angsty lil tune about being an extremist.”
In the video, directed by Gary Long, Kelsy and Goody play love interests that are doing the absolute most to hurt each other as they play with voodoo dolls of one another. The video is reminiscent of 2000s punk.
“We were kids then so we were frothing over the idea of making something nostalgic inspired by our favorite pop-punk bands,” Karter says. “We covered the walls with posters of rockstars, found some voodoo dolls, put a drum kit on a cliff, and called it a day.”
The single closes a pop-punk chapter for the singer. The track serves as a follow-up to her earworm-filled Missing Person, which she released during a “dark time” in her personal life. Karter described that record as “emotional rock songs about heartbreak, growing pains, depression, rebellion, and embracing individualism.” (In 2020, Rolling Stone chose her track “God Knows I’ve Tried” as a Song You Need to Know.)
“This resurgence of ‘punk’ is just pop culture giving artists permission to wear plaid pants and put guitars in songs again. But I just don’t buy it,” Karter admits candidly. “Punk doesn’t mean waiting for permission. It’s a feeling, an attitude, energy. Not a branding decision. It’s doing what you want, loving who you want, wearing what you want.”
Reflecting on the sound’s resurgence — thanks in part to the likes of Machine Gun Kelly, who pivoted from rap to pop-punk in recent years — Karter says the mainstream return of the sound is “just self-indulgent bullocks. Not punk.”
For Karter, who’s been making music with that pop-punk sound for years, it’s time for a pivot. “I’ve spent the last year cultivating a new sound, a reinvention, a new story. I don’t wanna give away too much but it sounds nothing like my previous music. When I came out of my depression I discovered a part of myself I hadn’t met before,” Karter says. “This unstoppable creature. A stronger, wiser, braver version of myself… I wanna show them that you can be anything you wanna be.”
She concludes, “And not to sound cocky, but God herself couldn’t stop me now.”