Top 5 Kacey Musgraves Songs
Kacey Musgraves‘ songs are some of the best-written in contemporary country music.
She’s been kicking around the fringes of the music business for years, releasing three independent albums and competing on ‘Nashville Star’ in 2007, but she rocketed to national prominence with her major label debut, ‘Same Trailer Different Park,’ which bowed at No. 1 in Billboard country album chart when it was released in March 2013.
Her debut single, ‘Merry Go ‘Round,’ was a Top 10 hit, but even though she’s new to many listeners, Musgraves has written songs for other artists, as well as television. From world-weary cynicism to upbeat anthems of self-acceptance, our list of the top Kacey Musgraves songs displays the unique talents of one of Nashville’s most promising young artists.
One of the musical highlights of the first season of TV’s ‘Nashville‘ was ‘Undermine,’ which Musgraves co-wrote with Trent Dabbs. Performed by Hayden Panettiere and Charles Esten, the song is a perfect blend of strong melody, classic country instrumentation and a well-crafted lyric that says, “It’s a whole lot harder to shine than undermine.”
‘Follow Your Arrow’
Musgraves’ major label debut is chock-full of witty, observational songs that challenge the stereotypes of Nashville and country radio. But none more so than ‘Follow Your Arrow,’ which encourages the celebration of individuality, saying, “Follow your arrow wherever it points.” The song’s apparent acceptance of same-sex relationships and marijuana use might make it a problematic contender for a radio single, but it’s quickly become a fan favorite.
Musgraves’ second single centers around a group of waitresses talking trash while on a smoke break from work. A perfectly-drawn skewering of how people talk about aspirations that they will never act upon, it features a number of classic lines, such as, “Brenda’s traded smokes for cake / Still hasn’t lost that baby weight / And that baby’s ’bout to graduate from college.”
‘Mama’s Broken Heart’
The fourth single from Miranda Lambert‘s ‘Four the Record’ was ‘Mama’s Broken Heart,’ which Musgraves wrote with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. The song is a modern-day breakup scenario: “Go and fix your make up, girl, it’s just a break up / Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady.” It earned Musgraves her highest chart position as a writer to date, reaching No. 2 in Billboard’s US Country Songs chart.
‘Merry Go ‘Round’
Musgraves’ debut single was a sharply cynical observation of life in small-town America, where couples marry and live and die in a cycle of inertia and ennui: “Mary, Mary, quite contrary / We get bored so we get married / And just like dust we settle in this town / On this broken merry go ’round.” Written with Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally, the song reached No. 10 before its parent album was even released, launching Musgraves on a trajectory as one of country music’s most respected newcomers.