Deeper Well by Kacey Musgraves album review by Ethan Rebalkin for Northern Transmissions. The singer/songwriter's LP drops on March 15th


Deeper Well

Kacey Musgraves

Singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves returns with her fifth studio album Deeper Well, a collection of timeless, country-tinged songs about life’s larger questions and subtle nuances.

A sparkly mandolin line eases you in on “Cardinal,” a lush, mostly acoustic jam that oozes with feelings of yearning, wonder and new beginnings. “Cardinal, are you bringing me a message from the other side?” Musgraves sings, conjuring up imagery of a Cardinal presenting itself as some sort of omen, or message from another world. Title track and first single “Deeper Well” is a warm, almost upbeat song about finding yourself, examining your inner workings, and moving towards a better version of yourself. Soft synth embellishments and plucking acoustic guitar lays the way for Musgraves to sing of laying waste to her old habits, and letting go of regrets; two themes found throughout Deeper Well.

Deeper WellI was inspired by the energy of New York City’s Greenwich Village and its vast musical history. Musgraves recorded most of the album at Electric Lady studios. Contemporaries like Taylor Swift and John Mayer have frequented Electric Lady, as well as legends David Bowie and Stevie Wonder, to name just a couple. Musgraves flaunts her inspiration of the city loud and proud on “Too Good To Be True,” a subdued ballad where she can be found first daydreaming about the big city, then feeling right at home in it. “In my mind we’re in New York / you had never been before / but baby now it’s our town.”

“Giver / Taker ” has a chord progression that sounds right out of a Nick Drake song, but with the accessible pop production of modern country. Subtle slide guitar, synth pads and banjo sit perfectly under Musgraves intoxicating melodies, and sculpts a world that feels both comforting and nostalgic. Speaking of production, Deeper Well was co-produced by Musgraves with longtime collaborators Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. The production was one of my favorite parts about Deeper Well. All the vocal treatment sounds immaculate, and really gives space for the rest of the song’s instrumentation to flourish under Musgraves melodies.

The lightly strummed acoustic on “Heart of the Woods” reminded me of “Ram On” off of Paul & Linda McCartney’s 1971 album Ram, and also shares a short run time of just over 2 minutes. The song dawns some of Musgraves most ornate imagery on the entire record, and does an excellent job of painting you a picture of a tranquil forested neighborhood. Musgraves reunites with songwriting partners Shane McAnnally and Josh Osborne on “The Architect,” a contemplative song where Musgraves finds herself inspecting both the simplicities and complexities of life. Musgraves’ curious eye for the beauty of something as simple as an apple and as grand as a mountainous valley, really speaks volumes to the scope of the songwriting found on Deeper Well.

Deeper Well is chalk full of keen observations on the many moments in life that may go unnoticed. Lessons emerge, love is given and taken, old habits are tested, and regrets are abandoned. Kacey Musgraves isn’t afraid to take it all on, and does so through approachable, shiny, ageless country songs.

Pre-order Deeper Well by Kacy Musgraves HERE


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