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First Listen: Kacey Musgraves, ‘star-crossed’


How do you follow up the domestic bliss of Golden Hour when real life doesn’t go according to the narrative? That’s been a looming question in the life of Kacey Musgraves since her last record took home the 2019 Grammy for album of the year – and since her divorce from fellow musician Ruston Kelly, her courtship with whom helped inspire the record. Today, we have an answer.

“star-crossed,” the opening track of her forthcoming record of the same name, serves as an introduction: “Let me set the scene,” Musgraves begins over mournful guitar and spacious electronics. Like a “previously on” montage, it depicts the singer-songwriter’s personal life over the past few years (“signed the papers yesterday”), offering a brief a moment of reflection (“Did we fly too high just to get burned by the sun?”) as the production swirls and swells. On Golden Hour, Musgraves made space for emotional intimacy, her irreverence giving way to a kind of vulnerability. If recent features and this first preview of star-crossed are any indication, Musgraves won’t be shying away from that type of truth-telling on the remainder of the record.

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