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GRAMMY TALK:
KACEY MUSGRAVES

On her third album, the genre-defying Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves continues to follow her musical arrow to wherever her heart takes her. After falling in love with songwriter Ruston Kelly, the Golden, Texas, native found herself yearning to expand her musical horizons. An organic producer change to Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk took Musgraves’ songwriting to more open spaces, cross-pollinating her kind of country with the spacious, dreamy tracks and Daft Punk-style processed vocals that give Golden Hour so much of its intrigue. With raves from Rolling Stone, Spin, Consequence of Sound and Pitchfork, Musgraves has once again flexed her critical appeal. As an artist, she’s obsessed with telling the truth, and doing it in her singular way.


How does Golden Hour differ from your previous records?
I like witty turns of phrase—trying to wrap every little lyric in a bow. I’ve never given the listeners as much room to find themselves in the songs. So Golden Hour is more of an aerial view instead of every little detail. There’s room in the songs to spread out your own life too. Overall, this entire project has more air and space to it. I was as discerning with the lyrics, letting them breathe a bit, as I was with the arrangements. It was by design. I wanted to leave a lot of room for the lyrics and the songs to shine through.

But even with all the trippy trappings, it still sounds like you.
My records are very much “me.” So for the people who loved Same Trailer and Pageant Material, I didn’t want them going, “What the fuck is this? Where is Kacey?!” Being weird to be weird in their eyes wasn’t something I wanted to do, but being wholly me, even more me, was what this was about. You know, the future and traditionalism, organic instruments and synth and vocoder can co-exist. There’s no reason they can’t; it’s just figuring out how to do it.

You also fell in love.
Yes. And it was the last thing I’d expected. I met Ruston at the start of this album. Everything changed, People were saying, “You even look like a different person. You’re beaming.”

How did that affect your writing?
I’ve never had love songs or relationship songs. I write about other things, other people’s stories or perspectives. When you’re with someone you truly love to the core and they feel that way about you, there’s no sense of panic—or that it’s going to come apart. I’m living in a much more positive light now. It’s maybe opened my heart a little. If your personal life isn’t crumbling, you can tackle anything with joy and light. I never felt like this. I was always fearful of putting myself too much out there. And I realized maybe I’ve been a little over-[self] protected. Maybe I can let loose a little more, trust more in the songs, what I have at home and out here.

In this world right now, love isn’t just political, it’s revolutionary.
It bothers me when people go, “Shut up, and sing.” The things I sing about are issues of humanity, not politics; acceptance, not judgment. There’s a place and time for everything. After a day of being inundated by the latest crap on gotcha news, who wants to hear more of it? I think it’s more important to create an escape and a reminder of the beauty around us, the people we love—and to keep our focus on that. If we start there instead, who knows what might happen?

 

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A HOLLY, JOLLY
HITS LIST
A December to remember (12/6a)
REVENUE CHART:
MALONE IS MONEY
Yet another post about Post (12/6a)
TAYLOR LIGHTS HER "CHRISTMAS TREE"
With lots of shiny tinsel (12/6a)
THE HAPPY WARRIOR OF THE RECORD BUSINESS
What a great guy (12/6a)
GRAMMY CHEW: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, ANYWAY?
Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it. (12/6a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want for Christmas.
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