Kelsy Karter: The Female Rock Artist You Need to Know

Sarah Stukalin

2020 was the year of female rock. With Hayley Williams going solo, Miley dropping her first-ever rock album, and Phoebe Bridgers having her break-out year, last year proved to be the year of female-empowered rock anthems.


During such a tumultuous year, it was comforting to listen to women who rock and celebrate them breaking through a male-dominated genre. Enter Kelsy Karter: the up and coming New Zealand female rock artist you need to know. 


Perhaps you recognize her name from her infamous Harry Styles face tattoo or her fiery love song dedicated to him, but Kelsy Karter has since proven she can create catchy and inspiring rock ballads without Mr. Styles’ association.


In October, Karter released her debut album, Missing Person. The album is dramatic, emotional, and downright exceptional. It’s everything that makes a great debut, and the songs are nothing but honest, particularly “God Knows I’ve Tried,” the standout and heartfelt track eight.


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A post shared by Kelsy Karter (@kelsykarter)

“It’s kind of my freedom song where I was, I always say it’s like a love letter to myself and an apology letter to everyone else. Because that song is like the song that made me kind of, say, ‘f*ck it, I’m just gonna dive headfirst into who I really am. And if it works, it works,” Karter said. 


Missing Person is energizing and refreshing. While many of the songs do focus on relationships and the pain they often bring, it is obvious Karter’s ultimate love is herself, and she’s not sorry.


Karter’s confidence exudes through her lyrics. In “Love Me or Hate Me” she sings, “So love me or hate me, you’ll never take me down // If I was the way that you want me, I’d be a pretender now // I’m lookin’ way too good in this broken crown // Occasionally way, way, way too proud // But, baby, you know that’s my superpower, power, power // So you can love me or hate me.”

Other standout songs on the album are “Goodness Gracious” and “Liquor Store on Mars,” but if I’m going to be honest, you’ll be robbing yourself if you don’t listen to the album in full. It’s the perfect record to listen to if you’re feeling down and need a pick me up, or if you just want to feel like an absolute badass. 


Listen to Missing Person here!