Ruston Kelly Finds Communion with a Fallen Angel on New Single “The Watcher”

Ruston Kelly Finds Communion with a Fallen Angel on New Single “The Watcher”

Seven-Song EP Weakness, Etc Out Today

Includes Three Previously Unreleased Songs

North American Solo Acoustic Tour Begins March 27 in Columbus, OH


March 22, 2024 – Today, acclaimed singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly releases Weakness, Etc, a collection of seven songs recorded in tandem with Kelly’s critically lauded third studio album, 2023’s The Weakness. The collection includes three previously unreleased tracks, including new single “The Watcher.”

Kelly drew on a rather unlikely source of inspiration for new single “The Watcher.” As he explains, “I’ve always been fascinated with Jewish and Christian apocrypha. The lost book of Enoch tells the story of the Watchers, a group of angels sent to the Garden of Eden to watch over the first humans. This song is written from the perspective of one of those angels, who against celestial ordinance, falls in love with a human being.”

Now I understand what Adam did

Traded heaven for love

They call that the fall of man

Traded heaven for love

And I’d trade it all again

Listen to “The Watcher” HERE.

Kelly reflects, “Some of my favorite tracks from my favorite albums are usually the deep cuts. A lot of times those songs help pave the way for the story of the record even though they don’t end up on the official sequence.” He continues, “The three fully produced tracks on this EP are those songs. The other acoustic versions are meant to show how we got from my typical songwriting-focused approach to the sonic atmosphere we ended with.”

The set includes three previously released singles: “Mending Song (Piano Version),” “Belly of the Beast,” and “Heaven Made the Darkness,” as well as a stripped-down version of plaintive album track “Cold Black Mile” (dubbed the “Hotel Version”) and the quietly devastating “Nothing Out There” and “The Wreckage.” These songs illuminate Kelly’s abundant gifts as a songwriter whose never-ending exploration of what it means to be alive offer profound reflections on love, loss, and healing.

Kelly’s solo acoustic tour will kick off March 27 at Columbus, OH’s A&R Music Bar and will continue throughout North America before concluding on May 2 with a hometown show in Nashville. Highlights include shows at such legendary venues as Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY (April 17) and Nashville, TN’s historic Ryman Auditorium (May 2).



27 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar

28 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache

29 – Detroit, MI – The Shelter

30 – Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue Theatre


1 – Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall

3 – Boulder, CO – The Fox Theatre

4 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room

5 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall

7 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre

8 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall

10 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern

13 – Portsmouth, NH – 3S Artspace

14 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club

16 – Hamden, CT – Space Ballroom

17 – Woodstock, NY – Levon Helm Studios

20 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg

21 – Washington, DC – Sixth & I

23 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater

25 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm

26 – Knoxville, TN – Bijou Theatre

27 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle Music Hall & Pub

28 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West

30 – Birmingham, AL – WORKPLAY


2 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium


9 – Miami, FL – Holiday From Real Cruise 2024

Hailed by PEOPLE as “expansive…a testament to keeping your feet on the ground when your life is turned upside down,” The Weakness found Ruston Kelly collaborating with producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Nate Mercereau (Sharon Van Etten, Leon Bridges, Maggie Rogers) to craft a blisteringly honest but profoundly hopeful work which ultimately reveals our vast potential to create strength and beauty from the most painful of experiences. Kelly’s third studio LP following 2018’s Dying Star and 2020’s Shape & Destroy, the album saw the Tennessee-based artist pushing his sound into cathartic new directions on such tracks as “Mending Song“ and the electrifying title track, earning him applause from such high profile outlets as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Relix, and many more. Known as a gifted and compelling live performer, Kelly marked The Weakness with a wide-ranging live schedule that included the acclaimed “Weakness Tour” headline run as well as a sold-out tour alongside longtime friend Noah Kahan.



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“The album’s dozen songs, propelled by his Americana and pop-punk tastes, thread the tension between downbeat and shimmery; he calls his style “dirt emo.” Its title track features reverb-heavy vocals and a slow build to guitar peels, finding power in fallibility.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Intensely self-examining…An emotionally daring statement.” – ROLLING STONE

“An album of unreserved, hope-laced self-reflection…(Kelly’s) candid songwriting reflects a sense of rediscovery and resilience laced with sharp humor.” – CONSEQUENCE

“Taking stock of your life and making peace with it forms the crux of The Weakness…The beauty in (Kelly’s) songwriting lies in his ability to recognize his own responsibility in the setbacks that plague him.” – PEOPLE

“In baring his own experiences, fighting through weakness and pain to draw on his own strength, Ruston Kelly created an album that turns his own experiences and the layers of his own existence into a universal message laced with hope.” – NO DEPRESSION

“Like a mixture of Tom Petty rockers and early alt-country Wilco bangers…Although he’s just 34, in a lot of ways, (Kelly) is a veteran who’s now found his voice – able to offer a deep, introspective look at the human condition, with a wink of irony here and there.” – RELIX

“The Weakness broadens the rootsy Americana of (Kelly’s) first two LPs with elements of pop-punk and indie rock. At points the album looks back to the gleaming guitar music of the post-Nirvana 1990s – a fruitful setting, it turns out, for Kelly’s luscious rasp.”


“Kelly’s most expansive album yet, playing with indie and emo rock sounds.”


“The Weakness pulsates with the steady glow of a lava lamp…Although the subdued atmosphere and murmured vocals pull The Weakness firmly toward nocturnal territory, this is neither dour nor monochromatic.” – ALLMUSIC

“Ruston Kelly is known as a country musician, but he’s always drawn inspiration from outside the genre, and it probably wouldn’t be inaccurate to describe his new LP The Weakness as a straight-up rock record.” – STEREOGUM

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(Rounder Records)

Release Date: Friday, March 22


The Watcher

Belly of the Beast

Heaven Made the Darkness

Cold Black Mile (Hotel Version)

Mending Song (Piano Version)

Nothing Out There

The Wreckage

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