Kacey Musgraves Talks New Album, Divorce From Ruston Kelly In New Interview

Kacey Musgraves Talks New Album, Divorce From Ruston Kelly In New Interview

In 2018, the whole world seemed to embrace Kacey Musgraves’ self-described “galactic country” album Golden Hour; it was the first album to ever take top honors at both the Grammys and this website. So we’re heavily anticipating her fourth LP, which supposedly is coming this year. Musgraves hasn’t revealed much about the album yet, but in a new Rolling Stone cover story, we get a little preview of her headspace and creative process.

The feature mostly focuses on the many spiritual, philosophical, and literary concepts swirling around Musgraves’ head. There is talk of a guided mushroom trip overseen by a doctor, timed to a 40-minute playlist developed by Johns Hopkins researchers. Around a fire pit, she and co-producers Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian discuss numerology, astrology, predestination, and the second Trump impeachment while snacking on CBD gummies. Elsewhere in the story, Musgraves references the Enneagram personality test and partakes in a self-care regimen that includes swimming, a hot tub, and a Himalayan salt dry sauna. While living in her own guest house while her home is renovated, she’s been reading a book on love signs and Cosmic Coupling: The Sextrology Of Relationships and Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, as well as watching Pen15 and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.

That latter title feels especially relevant because she’s been focused on the arcs of Greek and Shakespearian tragedies as they relate to America at large and her own failed marriage to fellow off-kilter country singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly. Although it inspired so much of Golden Hour‘s sighing psychedelic bliss, Musgraves says the marriage “just simply didn’t work out. It’s nothing more than that. It’s two people who love each other so much, but for so many reasons, it just didn’t work. I mean, seasons change. Our season changed.” Furthermore, “Part of me questions marriage as a whole, in general. I mean, I was open to it when it came into my life. I embraced it. I just have to tell myself I was brave to follow through on those feelings. But look at Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. They’re doing something right.”

As a way to process the divorce, Musgraves is assembling some of her 39 new songs into a three-act tragic narrative. As for the stylistic range: “I mean, looking at the list of songs, we have some that venture into, like, a Bill Withers land. We’ve got that synth stuff that we always loved. And we’ve got some Eagles or America territory. There’s a little bit of a dance vibe.” Reporter Alex Morris was privy to a brainstorming session for “Star-Crossed,” intended to be a climactic moment within the album’s arc. Musgraves and her team imagine it in many forms — a Coldplay-style anthem, a ballad, an uptempo dance song, a laidback ’90s midtempo track, a bossa nova exercise — before landing on something Latin-tinged. There is talk of recruiting Carlos Santana to play on it.

That’s all the detail we have on the album for now, but consider us intrigued.

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