Kacey Musgraves’ Next Album Will Be More ‘Realism,’ Less ‘Escapism’
Kacey Musgraves is observing the world with a fresh set of eyes on her upcoming album. In an expansive interview with Elle, Musgraves reflects on how her relationship with ex-husband, fellow artist Ruston Kelly, influenced the multi-Grammy Award-winning Golden Hour and how their subsequent divorce in 2020 has inspired her new project.
"Golden Hour was, in a lot of senses, escapism. It was fantasy. It was rose-colored glasses," Musgraves explains, describing her forthcoming project as more "realism."
"Being a human is tragic, but it’s also beautiful," she says, "And you can’t really experience the beautiful parts of life without also experiencing the absolutely heart-wrenching."
The new album will follow a three-act model of a Shakespearean tragedy and tell a story — her story — of a love affair that was simply not written in the stars. The project will also pull in elements from a wide range of artistic inspirations, from Bill Withers to British singer-songwriter Sade.
"It almost takes the blame off the two people, which is what I like, because it could be easy in a heartbreak to be like, ‘Well, you f----- up, it’s your fault.’ ‘No, you f----- up, it’s your fault,’" Musgraves says, "And it’s like, ‘No, let’s just blame the stars. Let’s just say that we’re not meant to be.'"
"It’s daunting to put your emotions about something really personal on display. I haven’t spoken much about this chapter, and I don’t feel like I owe that to anyone, but I owe it to myself as a creator to flesh out all these emotions that I’ve felt, and I do that through song," the star continues.
"It would be strange if I didn’t acknowledge what happened in my life creatively, but it is scary to be like, ‘I’m about to share my most personal thoughts about me, about this other person, about a union that I had with someone,'" Musgraves adds. "I mean, I’m not a ruthless person. I care about other people’s feelings. So it’s kind of scary."
Musgraves' new studio album is slated for release in late summer or early fall of 2021.
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