Ruston Kelly Spent Months In Solitude Creating New Album, ‘The Weakness’

The project chronicles the many changes Kelly has endured, including his divorce and a major upheaval in his family.


Emma Toth

| Posted on

January 25, 2023


9:02 am

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Ruston Kelly; Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Ruston Kelly recently announced the upcoming release of his third studio album, The Weakness, a painfully candid but hopeful look into Kelly’s human experience, from the most formidable experiences of life to those that bring the most joy.

The Weakness is set to release on Rounder Records on April 7th 2023. Pre-order the album HERE.

Ruston Kelly - The Weakness
Ruston Kelly – The Weakness

Kelly’s creative process for The Weakness was a labor of love. Before beginning his work on the album, Kelly moved from his Nashville home to an old bungalow Portland, Tennessee. He chose to spend three months in solitude in order to be able to appropriately process the emotions he wanted to evoke through this album, based on the events of the past couple of years. Kelly has been open about his struggles with drug addiction and he recently went through a large disruption of his immediate family as well as a very public divorce from Kacey Musgraves.

Kelly was quoted saying, “I felt a real need to understand myself a little better, and to rediscover the true foundation of who I am,”. He hoped to do this by immersing himself in the creation of the new music.

Kelly describes it best in a recent Tweet, “dirt emo always but I think I’m in my self-help rock era”. The Weakness also introduces a new talent to the creation of Kelly’s music; LA-based producer Nate Mercereau who has worked with the likes of Lizzo, Shawn Mendes, Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers and many more.

When discussing the production and overall sound and feel of the new album Kelly went on to say,  “The way I’d always worked in the past is that the song comes first, and the production helps to lift its meaning and intent, But this time there was a much greater focus on creating a sonic atmosphere that speaks just as loudly and feels just as emotional as the lyrics and voice.”

YouTube video

Out now, the title track and first single off the album gives the listener a clear expectation for what the rest of the album might be like. The single takes a departure from his acoustic roots and softer melodies; the sound that originally made him popular.

His solitary writing process brought newfound inspiration and reflection.

“I started working on that song and the refrain just kept coming to me – ‘We don’t give in to the weakness,’” he recalls. “The overall narrative of the record is that there’s a variety of weaknesses that I need to deal with, and a variety of strengths that I need to bolster. I truly do believe that acknowledging your weaknesses and digging deeper to understand yourself goes hand-in-hand with becoming a greater human being.”

The Weakness portrays Kelly’s fervent vulnerability and strong emotional expression through its instrumentation and lyrics, he stated, “I’ve always wanted to do a big rock song that feels like it would completely destroy an arena, and I’m really proud that we were able to assimilate that into all the different sounds we were exploring on this record.”

Ruston Kelly will be supporting his new release on tour throughout the year. See below for a list of upcoming tour dates.

Ruston Kelly The Weakness Tour
Ruston Kelly The Weakness Tour

The Weakness Tour Dates:

April 12th – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom ~

April 13th – Birmingham, AL – Iron City ~

April 15th – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theater ~

April 16th – Charlotte, NC – Underground ~

April 17th – Washington, DC – 930 Club *

April 19th – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry *

April 20th – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony *

April 21st – New York, NY – Webster Hall *

April 22nd – Philadelphia, PA – TLA *

April 25th – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom

April 27th – Pittsburgh, PA – Thunderbird #

April 28th – Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache #

April 29th – Chicago, IL – House of Blues #

April 30th – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue #

May 2nd – Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre #

May 3rd – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot #

May 5th – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory ^

May 6th – Seattle, WA – Showbox ^

May 7th – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall ^

May 9th – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall ^

May 11th – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore ^

May 12th – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up ^

May 13th – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theater ^

May 14th – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom ^

May 16th – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf ^

May 18th – Dallas, TX – The Echo Lounge and Music Hall #

May 19th – Houston, TX – House of Blues #

May 20th – Austin, TX – Stubb’s #

May 22nd – Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads #

June 2nd – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater $ 


~ Annie DiRusso

* Purr

# Briscoe

^ Richy Mitch and the Coal Miners

$ Jenny Lewis

Ruston Kelly on tour with Noah Kahan:

June 17th – Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park, Atlanta, GA – SOLD OUT

June 18th – Firefly Distillery, Charleston, SC – SOLD OUT

Aug 31st – Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY – SOLD OUT

Sept. 12th – KEMBA Live!, Columbus, OH

Sept. 13th – St. Louis Music Park – Maryland Heights, MO – SOLD OUT

Sept 15th – TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park, Indianapolis, IN – SOLD OUT

Sept 16th – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill, Sterling Heights, MI – SOLD OUT

Sept. 17th – Budweiser Stage, Toronto, ON

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Emma Toth

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Emma Toth