Kelsie Kimberlin's new single "Turn Back" is a gentle but impactful piece of music that serves as both an artistic achievement as well as a tribute to the resilience of the Ukrainian people. I was very curious to hear how this latest release would fit into the trilogy of videos filmed during her recent visit to Ukraine.
True to her signature style, "Turn Back" opens with breathtaking piano chords that create an immediate sense of intimacy. Kelsie’s voice then enters, delicately carried by layered harmonies that give the song an ethereal quality.
Throughout the music video, images capture both the human toll of war as well as the perseverance of the Ukrainian people. Among scenes of rubble and destruction, we also see hopeful glimpses of daily life- families finding refuge, and communities binding together in support. Though violence has upended ordinary routines, Kelsie pays tribute to how humanity persists even in the darkest of times. Her portrayal honors both the pain of loss as well as the indomitable spirit driving Ukraine toward peace.
Kelsie’s vocals convey emotion without being overtly sentimental. There is humility and hope in her performance that allows the visuals to speak for themselves. One can sense her deep respect and admiration for ordinary people, whose extraordinary humanity continues to inspire the world. The video ends with a poignant scene - a young girl wearing a protective helmet, with the Ukrainian flag by her side. It's a meaningful reminder of the human cost of war, especially for future generations.
"Turn Back" achieves perfection in its simplicity. Each instrument is given room to breathe, so their interplay can be fully appreciated. Subtle layering and changes in rhythm keep the ear engaged throughout the four-minute runtime.
The familiarity of "Turn Back" lends itself well to personal moments of stillness, whether enjoying a cup of tea alone or sharing headphones with a loved one. But it also functions beautifully as a thoughtful soundtrack for any activity where one wants to maintain the presence of the mind. It feels especially touching to experience Ukraine’s natural beauty and community spirit through her hopeful, heartwarming lens at a time when darkness tries to dampen light.
Over the course of her career, Kelsie has proven herself a masterful artist capable of raw, vulnerable portrayals as well as sophisticated musicality. With "Turn Back," she expands her expressive range by sharing another layer of herself. To fully experience its emotional depth and pay tribute in the way she intended, take a moment and watch the video and listen to the song today online.