Kelsey Karter press photo 2020

Kelsy Karter’s artistry thrives with video for “You Only Die Once”

Known to many for her viral Harry Styles face tattoo stunt in 2019, New Zealand-born rock star, Kelsy Karter, continues to break ground with a music video released this week. The video is for her edgy song “You Only Die Once” from her debut album, Missing Person, which was released in October and recognized by Rolling Stone in their November print issue. 

In the opening scene of the video, we see a group of close misfit friends in an open field. They’re swaying to the mellow tune, playing guitar, and kissing: all decked out in white and black, leather, tattoos, and makeup. Yet our star Kelsy isn’t to be seen. 

The song transitions with an upbeat turn, and reveals Kelsy, sitting in a large dim-lit room, tied to a chair with two guards standing behind her. Viewers learn she must be a criminal or mental patient and the white nightgown she wears and the flickering lights set the asylum-like tone amazingly.

After a few cheeky attempts to escape, and a dance around the institution, she finally escapes with the help of her sidekick Crystal the monkey and is reunited with her friends.

After watching the full video it becomes clear that it continues the narrative that begun in the “Devil On My Shoulder” music video, where she is on the run as a criminal and her cute little Monday sidekick is introduced. 

The themes present in “You Only Die Once” ring clear with lyrics like “can’t bear to live in fear” and “not gonna die here.” Kelsy’s mental ward character literally won’t die there, kept against her will, but also the message of this song is one of not giving up and hope that we all won’t die here in the current state of things; if we persevere we won’t die here or now, but live to see better things. 

Kelsy even describes the song as a “fuck-you anthem for the state of the world right now.” 

Fans may find the theme of being held against your will in a mental institution especially relatable since we all have been trapped by our world’s current circumstance: unable to leave our homes, eat in restaurants, or see a group of our friends. 

This quirky video will appeal to anyone who has ever felt left out or pushed aside, call them to persevere, and let them know there are people out there like them who truly understand that struggle.

Kelsy Karter music video still

With another cinematic and engaging music video, Kelsy continues to claim her rightful spot as one of the best music artists out there today, pioneering a new space within rock and the industry for women artists or artists who just don’t fit the mold and we love them for it. 

The rebellious singer is currently working on her 2nd album in England and has said of her future that she plans to “go deeper down a romantic, punk vibe, which is also where the music is going.” I can’t wait to see where this road leads and what new exciting adventures Kelsy and Crystal might go on.

Stay up to date with Kelsy Karter via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Read more: Step into the purple light with Cloe Wilder in “Call Me If You Need Me”

Erin Servey

Erin is a writer, poet, and concert photographer from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She takes pride in her record collection and the large number of playlists she's created on Spotify that contain a bit of everything from swing dance tunes to modern rock. Sunny weather and her cat, Mr. Fitzgerald, help keep her sane in the absence of concerts.

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