Kacey Musgraves returns with her third album Golden Hour, a wistful and dreamy take on family, love, and the nuances of everyday life. Musgraves established her rebellious reputation with tracks such as her first album’s ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ a hit that includes rolling joints, celebrating LGBT+ rights, and ignoring the judgment that one encounters in a small town. It’s not your typical country song.
Musgraves continues this ethos with her new sound. Nevertheless, instead of her regular country-pop mix she incorporates disco with electronic influences. Guitars are paired with vocoders as she moves away from country tradition.
This collection is sonically cohesive from the delicate ‘Slow Burn’ to the brief but poignant ‘Mother’ (which Musgraves has revealed was written during an LSD trip). The most daring song genre-wise is the disco-infused ‘High Horse.’ Guitars and banjo join up-tempo beats and high-pitched piano chords in this unusual pairing. The Grammy Award winner makes these tracks seem effortless hiding the technicalities behind them.
A highlight of the album is ‘Butterflies,’ where Musgraves details the moment she met her husband, and experiences a relationship that brings her to new highs: “Cloud Nine was always out of reach/Now I remember what it feels like to fly.” Equally strong is ‘Space Cowboy,’ a lyrically sharp piano-driven ballad in which Musgraves details the breakdown of a relationship. It doubles as an easy listen or an emotional powerhouse, depending on your mood.
In a nutshell: An effortlessly daring take for those who dislike traditional country.