LA by-the-way-of New Zealand artist Kelsy Karter releases the official video for her single “You Only Die Once”, which premiered yesterday on Alt Press. The video is a continuation of her enthralling music video “Devil On My Shoulder” and is directed by Kelsy herself in what she describes as “a cheeky but theatrical way to bring it to life and make kids feel like they’re not alone during these weird times.”

Kelsy is reunited with her “Devil On My Shoulder” co-star Crystal the Monkey in “You Only Die Once”, a captivating visual that depicts Karter cheekily attempting to break out of a mental institution, desperately trying to get back to her pack of people who truly understand her and where she feels her true self. After a few failed attempts, Crystal the Monkey breaks Kelsy out and reunites her with her group of misfits.
“I want it to speak to the misfits and the “weirdos” who feel like they don’t fit in or can’t be themselves,” Karter states in a conversation with Alt Press. “Because they can, and I’ll be there to back them up till the end.” As a true call-to-arms for the outspoken rocker, the song is meant to be a rallying cry for any & all who feel left out, outcasted, or pushed aside. “I wanted to be a voice for those who feel lost or confused during the state of the world—it’s a fuck-you anthem for anyone who needs to let it out.”
photo by Mathias Fau
“You Only Die Once” is featured on Kelsy Karter’s debut album Missing Person, which came out earlier this fall.
“The album as a whole is a fun ride that explores both the struggle and joy of being a woman in what’s long been viewed as a man’s world,” stated Samantha Hissong from Rolling Stone. “It also touches on the heartbreak-induced degeneracy that can precede finding new love and self-acceptance.”
Kelsy Karter is not just solidifying herself as one of the greats in rock-n-roll, she’s ruthlessly carving out her own space in a genre that’s very much a boy’s club,” Shirley Ju, Flaunt Magazine.
While the fantastically warped wonderland of Missing Person offers a much-needed escape from the everyday, Karter’s world-building serves an even greater purpose, providing a safe space for listeners to discover their own self-acceptance. “Making this album helped me to find comfort and freedom in who I am, and I want everyone who hears it to come away with that same feeling,” Karter says. “I want them to feel strong in their individuality, and to stop caring about what other people think. I hope it helps them to feel both totally vulnerable and completely invincible at the very same time.”
About Kelsy Karter:
The debut album from Kelsy Karter, Missing Person is a thrilling introduction to a truly singular musical mind. Like all the most electrifying artists, the New Zealand-born singer/songwriter invites the audience into a beautifully strange world of her own making, a fantasia that’s equal parts rock-and-roll grit and wildly theatrical grandeur. Fueled by the mesmerizing vocal work first displayed on her breakthrough single “Harry”—a 2019 track that went viral after Karter turned up with a fake tattoo of Harry Styles blazoned across her face—Missing Person arrives as a stunning showcase for her intricate storytelling and uncompromising outlook on life, love, and self-liberation.
Despite the defiant spirit that shines through nearly every song on Missing Person, the album took shape from a period of tremendous pain and self-doubt for Karter, a time that included the death of a loved one and a devastating breakup. “I was so depressed and broke, and probably at the lowest point in my whole life,” says Karter. “For a while I sort of lost myself, which is why the album’s called Missing Person. But through the process of making the record I found myself as an artist and an individual—I stopped giving a fuck about what anyone else thinks, and finally felt completely okay with who I am.” Working in the UK and in L.A. with producers like Zakk Cervini (Machine Gun Kelly, Poppy) and Chris Greatti (YUNGBLUD, blink-182), Karter set that transformation to a guitar-drenched sound steeped in elements of punk and Britpop and classic glam-rock, giving way to a sonic aesthetic both undeniably timeless and entirely of-the-moment.
After cutting her teeth playing in dive bars around L.A. and at iconic New York City nightclub The Bitter End, Karter released songs independently all throughout 2019, toured the UK and the US as direct support for The Struts, and promptly landed a deal with BMG Recordings. With the arrival of the first two singles from Missing Person (“Devil on My Shoulder” and “Stick to Your Guns”), she further expanded her creative output by taking the helm as director on the brilliantly cinematic videos for both tracks. “I draw so much of my inspiration from film—the art of storytelling and the way people execute it visually has always been so fascinating to me,” she says. “In a way I feel like my music is a balance between the edginess of Quentin Tarantino and the delicateness of Wes Anderson: I’m definitely a tough girl, but I’ve also got a heart of complete mush.”
“Missing Person is a collection of stories from my life about love, rebellion, heartbreak, individualism and the anxiety of the times we live in,” she explains. “It’s a cheeky and dramatic mix of punk and glam rock. When listening to this record, I want my fans to feel like a total badass and completely vulnerable at the same time.”
Read Kelsy Karter’s full bio HERE.