Kacey Musgraves Reveals ‘Pageant Material’ Influences
The release of Kacey Musgraves' highly anticipated sophomore album, Pageant Material, is quickly approaching, and the singer says that she went into making her new record in a different mindset than when she was recording her debut disc.
Musgraves' newest release was heavily inspired by some of her most-cherished classic country records, and she chose a more even-keeled path throughout this album than on her first release.
"Pageant Material was really inspired by a lot of the classic records and artists I love: Glen Campbell, Jim Croce, Bobbie Gentry, Marty Robbins, Roger Miller, Charley Pride. Records that set an even tone throughout are ones that I usually gravitate towards," Musgraves tells Entertainment Weekly. "So recording this record was really fun and exciting for me because I knew exactly what I wanted to go for. Consistently touring and playing with my great band has made me a better singer and player and has helped me define my vision. So there was less guesswork this time around."
Pageant Material was mostly recorded live, a major change from the award-winning Same Trailer, Different Park. During the recording process, Musgraves hoped to capture an energy that was similar to what she offers fans during concerts.
"Most of the records I know and love were recorded in a live manner. When you go hear a band play a live show, you’re experiencing live energy, and I wanted to capture that spirit. It comes across differently," she says. "We recorded most everything in a big circle in one of my favorite old studios on the planet — historic RCA Studio A in Nashville. That lent itself to the record having that concise feel that we wanted. Then we added a 10-piece string section later.
"We dressed the space with my signature neon cacti and serapes, and everybody wore plastic crowns — the musicians were made up of a mix of my band and some of my other all-time favorite musical personalities," Musgraves continues. "It was important for me to implement how I sound on the road into this project."
The "Biscuits" singer has a lot to live up to after the success of Same Trailer, Different Park, which earned Musgraves two Grammys, including the award for Best Country Album. To help pen Pageant Material, she enlisted a team of writers that she's had success working with in the past: Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark.
"I’ve been really blessed to find a unique group of people to create with. Most of them wrote everything on the last record with me, and I just love our songs so much that I didn't want to fix what wasn't broken!" Musgraves says. "One of the things I really love about working with these people is how much we laugh! We’re constantly laughing our a--es off, so it always makes for a lighthearted atmosphere.
"Luke and Shane each bring something different to the table as producers, as well — they know my vision, but they aren’t afraid to challenge it," she adds. "Before the record, I went with a lot of the writers down to Texas, and we wrote for several days out in the middle nowhere — we made some amazing memories and wrote most of the record there."
In addition to "Biscuits" and the album's title track, which Musgraves says gave her an image of a "hazy, slightly off-kilter, retro pageant world" after she wrote it, there are a few other songs on the new disc that the singer is particularly looking forward to sharing with her fans.
"I’m really excited for people to hear the song "This Town,"" Musgraves says. "It was complete serendipity that I got to use a recording of my late grandmother’s voice that I found for the intro of that song. I also really love "Family Is Family" and "Late to the Party.""
Pageant Material is set for release on June 23. The album is available for pre-order at MyPlayDirect.com.
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