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Kacey Musgraves|Deeper Well

Deeper Well

Kacey Musgraves

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Kacey Musgraves' sixth album, Deeper Well feels like a rewind—not just to her own earlier work, but to a folk-scene era from well before she was born. There are shades of the Mamas and the Papas and the early 1960s Cafe Wha? scene (the album was recorded blocks away, at Greenwich Village’s Electric Lady Studios). It’s not not country, but it’s also far from cowboy-hatted Nashville. Musgraves has described her last record—her "divorce album"—2021's Star-Crossed, as "more dramatic and acerbic, there were a lot more electronic instruments." This time, she's tuning into the world around her, but also trying to figure out the secrets of the cosmos. "My saturn has returned," she sings on the title track—a bit of classic singer-songwriter acoustic pluck that gently tumbles like water over creek rocks—before metaphorically shuddering at someone's "dark energy." Folk-naif "Heart of the Woods" marvels at nature "communicating through the roots of the trees." "I saw a sign or an omen," she declares on "Cardinal," a Hollies-esque number with 12-string guitar and a round-robin bridge. Musgraves has said it's about a real-life pattern of seeing birds and wondering if they were a sign from friend John Prine after the legend passed away in 2020. The bulk of the songs are written with her co-producers Ian Fitchuk, who worked on her last few records, and Daniel Tashian, who also helped out on 2018’s excellent Golden Hour. (It’s no stretch to imagine Star-Crossed never having happened and Deeper Well being the natural progression from Golden Hour.) "The Architect" is the only song here penned with her longtime writing partner Shane McAnally; and yes, it feels a bit more countrified than the others. Musgraves' Texas twang is strong as she questions "are there blueprints or plans?" to life. She adopts a particularly velvet timbre on moody cautionary tale "Lonely Millionaire," which interpolates the song "Kody Blu 31" by Atlanta rapper JID. "Too Good To Be True" borrows from Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2AM)," while "Heaven Is" reimagines a Scottish folk traditional. And Musgraves hasn't abandoned the rebel spirit that got her "Follow Your Arrow" banned from country radio in 2013. "Dinner With Friends" is a dreamy, free-floating gratitude list—"The feeling you feel when you're looking at something you made/ The layers and ruffles in my favorite pink champagne cake"—that calls out "My home state of Texas/ The sky there, the horses and dogs/ But none of their laws." There's not much dynamic range on Deeper Well; Musgraves is in a pleasantly pretty, low-key mood throughout. But there is one stand-out "what was that?!" moment at the bridge of "Anime Eyes," when the love song explodes in a whirlwind psychedelic bridge, as Musgraves breathlessly lets loose with a torrent of sensory emotion: "Ridiculous hazy, crazy, rainbow, explosions of ecstasy ... Happy tears overflowing, lightning bolts so overwhelming!" It's wild and free and DGAF. The album ends, tellingly, on a line from the song of the same name: "Nothing to be scared of." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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Deeper Well

Kacey Musgraves

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1
Cardinal
00:03:11

Phillip Smith, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Co-Producer, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Percussion, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, 12-String Acoustic Guitar, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Viktor Krauss, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Deeper Well
00:03:52

Phillip Smith, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Co-Producer, Bass, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Too Good to be True
00:02:40

Anna Nalick, ComposerLyricist - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Russ Pahl, Pedal Steel, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Co-Producer, Bass, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Davis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ethan Barrette, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Moving Out
00:03:09

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Co-Producer, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Slide Guitar, Co-Producer, Bass, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Giver / Taker
00:03:10

Phillip Smith, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Slide Guitar, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Sway
00:03:11

Phillip Smith, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Percussion, Co-Producer, Bass, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sarah Buxton, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, Moog Bass, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Sean Badum, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tommy English, ComposerLyricist - Justin Schipper, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Dinner with Friends
00:02:57

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Leisz, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Piano, Co-Producer, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar, Co-Producer, Ukulele, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Davis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ethan Barrette, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - Mai Leisz, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Heart of the Woods
00:02:16

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Co-Producer, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, 12-String Acoustic Guitar, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Jade Green
00:02:58

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Co-Producer, Bass, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, Dulcimer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Combs, Cello, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
The Architect
00:02:57

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Piano, Co-Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Banjo, Co-Producer, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Josh Osborne, ComposerLyricist - Shane McAnally, ComposerLyricist - Todd Lombardo, Editor, Engineer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Sound Design, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Konrad Snyder, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Lonely Millionaire
00:03:06

T. Jones, ComposerLyricist - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Acoustic Guitar, Co-Producer, Bass, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - J. BARNETT, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Engineer, Electric Guitar, Piano, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - N. Barnett, ComposerLyricist - J Barnett, ComposerLyricist - Todd Lombardo, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - J. Welch, ComposerLyricist - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Combs, Cello, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - D. Route, ComposerLyricist - M. Whitney, ComposerLyricist - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel - DJ Barnett, ComposerLyricist - I. Welch, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Heaven Is
00:02:44

Phillip Smith, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Organ, Co-Producer, Snare Drum, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Co-Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sean Badum, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Matt Combs, Cello, Viola, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Anime Eyes
00:03:18

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Drums, Co-Producer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Co-Producer, Bass, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Todd Lombardo, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, Additional Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Nothing to be Scared Of
00:02:33

Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ian Fitchuk, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Co-Producer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Craig Alvin, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Tashian, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kacey Musgraves, Producer, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shawn Everett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Rooney, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Sean Badum, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lex Price, Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Todd Lombardo, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Davis, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ethan Barrette, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Konrad Snyder, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kristen Clark, Production Coordinator, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2024 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album review

Kacey Musgraves' sixth album, Deeper Well feels like a rewind—not just to her own earlier work, but to a folk-scene era from well before she was born. There are shades of the Mamas and the Papas and the early 1960s Cafe Wha? scene (the album was recorded blocks away, at Greenwich Village’s Electric Lady Studios). It’s not not country, but it’s also far from cowboy-hatted Nashville. Musgraves has described her last record—her "divorce album"—2021's Star-Crossed, as "more dramatic and acerbic, there were a lot more electronic instruments." This time, she's tuning into the world around her, but also trying to figure out the secrets of the cosmos. "My saturn has returned," she sings on the title track—a bit of classic singer-songwriter acoustic pluck that gently tumbles like water over creek rocks—before metaphorically shuddering at someone's "dark energy." Folk-naif "Heart of the Woods" marvels at nature "communicating through the roots of the trees." "I saw a sign or an omen," she declares on "Cardinal," a Hollies-esque number with 12-string guitar and a round-robin bridge. Musgraves has said it's about a real-life pattern of seeing birds and wondering if they were a sign from friend John Prine after the legend passed away in 2020. The bulk of the songs are written with her co-producers Ian Fitchuk, who worked on her last few records, and Daniel Tashian, who also helped out on 2018’s excellent Golden Hour. (It’s no stretch to imagine Star-Crossed never having happened and Deeper Well being the natural progression from Golden Hour.) "The Architect" is the only song here penned with her longtime writing partner Shane McAnally; and yes, it feels a bit more countrified than the others. Musgraves' Texas twang is strong as she questions "are there blueprints or plans?" to life. She adopts a particularly velvet timbre on moody cautionary tale "Lonely Millionaire," which interpolates the song "Kody Blu 31" by Atlanta rapper JID. "Too Good To Be True" borrows from Anna Nalick's "Breathe (2AM)," while "Heaven Is" reimagines a Scottish folk traditional. And Musgraves hasn't abandoned the rebel spirit that got her "Follow Your Arrow" banned from country radio in 2013. "Dinner With Friends" is a dreamy, free-floating gratitude list—"The feeling you feel when you're looking at something you made/ The layers and ruffles in my favorite pink champagne cake"—that calls out "My home state of Texas/ The sky there, the horses and dogs/ But none of their laws." There's not much dynamic range on Deeper Well; Musgraves is in a pleasantly pretty, low-key mood throughout. But there is one stand-out "what was that?!" moment at the bridge of "Anime Eyes," when the love song explodes in a whirlwind psychedelic bridge, as Musgraves breathlessly lets loose with a torrent of sensory emotion: "Ridiculous hazy, crazy, rainbow, explosions of ecstasy ... Happy tears overflowing, lightning bolts so overwhelming!" It's wild and free and DGAF. The album ends, tellingly, on a line from the song of the same name: "Nothing to be scared of." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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