Picking only ten Kacey Musgraves songs out of her bejeweled body of work is sort of like driving through a Texas rainstorm in an older truck that’s also low on gas, which is to say it’s profoundly difficult — but sometimes, there’s a rainbow waiting at the end.
Musgraves breathed new life into the tired boys club of country music when she broke through nearly a decade ago, and has since transcended many restrictions of genre. Queen Dolly Parton’s name is not one to be tossed around lightly, but Musgraves often feels like the 21st century answer to the groundwork Parton laid for women in country. Musgraves has always been known to play by her own rules, acting as a beacon for the LGBTQ community, traditional country music lovers, and anyone who maybe just has a lot of feelings.
2018’s Golden Hour, her fourth full-length album, is revelatory. Musgraves co-wrote all thirteen tracks and expertly threaded together the stories of romance, heartbreak, and friendship into an intimate time capsule from a masterful songwriter. It went on to sweep the Country Music Awards and earn the all-genre Album of the Year at the Grammys. (As it should’ve!)
We’ve rounded up ten of our favorite Kacey Musgraves tracks ahead of the release of star-crossed, set to arrive tomorrow, September 10th. There’s, appropriately, a bit of happy and a bit of sad at the same time; some songs are more conventional and others push the envelope. That’s Kacey Musgraves, finding truth in paradox and letting us, little by little, into her always glowing universe.
— Mary Siroky