Pitchfork: Best New Music
In 2013 when, to everyone's surprise, the impeccable Same Trailer Different Park won the Grammy Award for best country album, Kacey Musgraves wisely dodged the pitfalls of Nashville: namely, the temptation to become yet another knock-off Taylor Swift. And it shows in her lyrics about homosexuality, dope smoking and single mothers – themes that are none too popular on the more conservative fringe of American country music... for Pageant Material, her second work, which came out in summer 2015, the Texan continued in much the same vein. Where a song looks to be setting out on a well-worn, cliché-ridden path, our young cowgirl gives a sharp tug on the reins and really makes the writing shine. We alternate between pure country and pop country, by way of some numbers with much more of a slightly retro rock flavour, with banjo and pedal steel guitar, or, going the other way, languorous violins... Without completely revolutionising the genre or rattling the walls of Nashville, this daughter of Golden, Texas certainly left fans wondering what her next album was going to look like...
In Spring 2018, Kacey Musgraves gave them their answer. A third album, this time slanted a little more towards pop. While country fundamentalists might switch off, the curious would do well to listen to Golden Hour to the end. It might be the fact of her recent wedding to colleague Ruston Kelly that colours this record with love with a capital L. Without coming off soppy, these love songs offer real emotion and a new sincerity. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kacey Musgraves said she was influenced by Neil Young, Sade and the Bee Gees! Quite an eclectic and surprising triumvirate, but after listening to Golden Hour right the way through, it makes sense, kind of. Let yourself be carried away by songs that flower like an Indian summer, and their strikingly moving melodies. © Max Dembo/Qobuz