Kacey Musgraves Explains Why ‘Golden Hour’ Avoids Direct Social Commentary
When Kacey Musgraves set out to make her 2018 CMA Award-winning album Golden Hour, the singer says she was "craving time" to work on a project that truly spoke to where she was at the moment in her career and in her life. Backstage on Country Music's Biggest Night, Musgraves reflected back on the earliest stages of the album's creation.
"Going into making the record, I was kind of in a bit of a confused place," Musgraves recalls. "I didn't have a lot of confidence, and I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to change it up, and work with different people -- even though I love the people I worked with before -- and I just wanted to find that thing that made my soul really happy again."
Musgraves accepted her award on Wednesday evening (Nov. 14) alongside Golden Hour's producers, Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian. She explains that writing one of the album's tracks, "Oh, What a World," made her realize that she wanted to create a kind of sonic dreamscape that encapsulated a new, and uniquely her own, balance of different elements.
"I just started imagining this land, musically, where it was possible to keep these elements of country music that are really intrinsic to my music -- pedal steel, banjo, the things that root me in country music -- but I also wanted to explore this new frontier for myself with electronic elements. It's a big mixture of a bunch of different things," she goes on to say.
That carefully crafted landscape applies just as much to the album's subject matter as it does to its musical style. "It was really important to me to give people a little hiding place on this record," Musgraves notes. "We live in such a tumultuous time, and a chaotic time, and I think a lot of people may have been expecting some social commentary out of me. Not that there isn't, in some ways, on this record, but I wanted to turn away from that because I was really inspired to write about this beautiful world we live in."
The album was a personal one for the singer, and much of the beauty that she writes about in Golden Hour's songs comes from her own life. "All these wonderful people, my husband, getting married, leaving my twenties, looking ahead to my thirties -- [I'm in this] really open-hearted, positive time," Musgraves adds. "The music is directly inspired by that."
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