Fans of Kacey Musgraves are in luck. The singer announces she will release an authentic, no-holds-barred new record, Golden Hour, early next year. Both the album's message and the title were inspired by this summer's total solar eclipse, which occurred on her birthday (Aug. 21).
"It felt like this majestic time where God was saying, 'This is a moment to be present for, to witness and relish in the beauty of this incredible world,'" she tells Entertainment Weekly. "That was important for me to include on this record. It's such an ugly time right now with society and politics, and it could be easy to focus on that. But one thing we could use is a little more love and positivity and pretty colors."
Recorded in the studio above Sheryl Crow's horse stables, Musgraves drew inspiration now only from her surroundings, but from the painstakingly honest conversations she shared with Crow.
"She has Guinness on tap, so she would have a Guinness with us," recalls Musgraves. "We ended up talking about reincarnation one night and getting so heady. I was like, 'This is amazing!' It set the tone."
In Golden Hour, Musgraves covers a wide variety of life events, choosing to be emotionally vulnerable over vying for commercial appeal.
"I was thinking about how there are different masks that we wear that represent different sides of us," she says of what became a "trippy" third record. "None of the masks are solely us, but they're all us. On this record, there's the lonely girl, the blissful girl, the new wife, the girl that's missing her mom, the angry girl, the sarcastic girl, the '60s-sequined Cruella de Vil with the beehive, the shy girl, the life of the party, the winner, the loser — they're all characters on this record. None of them alone are me, but the golden hour is when they all come together and you see me as a whole."
The follow-up to Musgraves' critically-acclaimed 2015 Pageant Material project, which was nominated for a Grammy but failed to produce any big radio hits, Musgraves chose to focus on making music that represented her, instead of trying to figure out what might lead to record sales or radio hits.
"There are certain junctures in your life where you can't really think your way through — you have to feel your way through," she says. "Making this album, it's like leading heart first."
A release date has yet to be announced. Musgraves will join Midland in serving as the opening act on Little Big Town's Breaker Tour in 2018. A list of all of her upcoming shows can be found on her website.