Kacey Musgraves Spills It All On ‘Deeper Well’

Kacey Musgraves leads the flock

Kacey Musgraves has always made music her own way.

Nearly a decade ago, I reviewed her debut album, “Same Trailer, Different Park,” mainly because of the hit single “Follow Your Arrow.

On the uplifting track, which for the time kicked up a dustpile of country music controversy, Musgraves preached, “Just follow your arrow wherever it points.”

Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well

At the time, I thought her fresh approach to songwriting and material was exactly the direction that country music should take.

Now, years later, Musgraves is still blazing her unique path whether mainstream country music is ready or not, with her latest album, “Deeper Well,” released Friday, March 15, 2024.

Her fifth album opens with some throwback 60s singer-songwriter acoustic sounds that line up perfectly with the album cover and overall audio asteic for 14 tracks n the album.

On the opening track, “Cardinal” she describes the respite of a walk through the city and ponders the symbolism of the red bird.

She follows up with the ethereal confessional “Deeper Well,” where she talks about moving on from her relationship with her husband and with marijuana. In addition to the quiet fingerpicking, there’s a warmth

“The things I was taught only took me so far
Had to figure the rest out myself
And then I found
I found a deeper well”

Throughout the 42 minutes and 7 seconds of the album, Musgraves advocates self-care, compassion, and growth.

On “Too Good To Be True,” she describes the excitement and trepidation of starting a new relationship.

“Be good to me and I’ll be good to you
But please don’t be too good to be true.”

The songs also have a seasonality, as we move from spring in Cardinal to summer on “Too Good To Be True” and fall on “Moving Out.”

The quiet, lovingly slow ballads, are a comfortable place for Musgraves to explore. There is something about her voice that is so complimentary with a slide guitar and banjo as she demonstrates on “Giver/Taker.”

However, I feel like the true power of Musgraves comes from when she steps into the spotlight as a singer-songwriter leaning toward the folk side of the stage.

It’s hard not to hear the influences of the great singer-songwriters of the 70s – Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Judy Collins – when listening to tracks like “Sway.” The track is a testament to her resilience – “Like a palm tree in the wind, I won’t break, I’ll just bend”

Like many folk tracks, the best ones are about the most mundane things—see “Our House.” Musgraves capitalizes on that formula in “Dinner With Friends,” where she tries to look at the event from the other side of an impending breakup.

She leans into that 60s sound on “Heart of the Woods” and matches it with her lyrics “It’s in our nature to look out for each other, In the heart of the woods.”

She stays on the natural theme on the following track, “Jade Green” which opens with “I wanna bathe in the moonlight, until I’m fully charged.” Jade purity, moral integrity, wisdom, and tranquility. In Chinese culture, jade symbolizes harmony and is believed to bring good health and luck.

It’s that awe for patriotic scenes and the power of nature that comes through across “Deeper Well.” The Architect not so covertly asks to speak to the manager in charge of the universe.

Taking an often popular theme explored by Gary Vee, Post Malone, and now Musgraves, she recreates a lost sound in for the mindset of a “Lonely Millionaire.”

I’ve always been a fan of bending genres, and even when Sturgill Simpson brought a Kenny Rogers level of psychedelia to his “Turtles All The Way Down,” Musgraves hits a particular cross-section of music and Japanese animation fans with “Anime Eyes.”

Ridiculous hazy, crazy, rainbow, explosions of ecstasy
Oh my God, the memories
Happy tears overflowing, lightning bolts so overwhelming
Ugly crying, now I’m melting
Turning into flowers blooming
Angels singing, bells are ringing
Baby, I’m a love tsunami, washing over both our bodies
Sailor Moon’s got nothing on me
-“Anime Eyes” by Kacey Musgraves

The album closes with Musgraves reassuring herself that there’s “Nothing to be Scared Of” as she embraces a new love and lifestyle.

On “Deeper Well,” Kacey Musgraves shows that she still has plenty more to say a decade after her debut album.

See Kacey Musgraves with Father John Misty and Nickel Creek Sept. 4 at Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pennsylvania and Sept. 9 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. She will continue her tour with Lord Huron and Nickle Creek Nov. 9 at CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, Maryland and Nov. 15 and 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Get “Deeper Well” from Kacey Musgraves, Amazon, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Deezer and qobuz.

Favorite Tracks

Deeper Well
Dinner With Friends
Heart of the Woods
Jade Green
Anime Eyes