I hate country music too. But hear me out.
Sure, Kacey Musgraves’ music is country, but it’s not the kind of country that comes along with a well-deserved negative connotation. Even her older catalog (Kacey has been on the scene as early as 2013), which is definitely more “yee-haw” than Golden Hour is still able to attract those most vehemently opposed to all things country. Though the banjos and whistles may be the same as the rest of the genre, Kacey’s work is a lot less Blue Lives Matter and definitely doesn’t have the same overused material (Mama’s front porch, dirt roads, supporting the second amendment, etc).
Instead, Golden Hour elicits the same good feelings that old-school Taylor Swift did (or maybe Colbie Caillat, if we want to get more niche). Kacey makes country music seem less like Texas and more like… upstate New York. Sure, a lot of Make America Great Again hats, but eventually you’re gonna stumble on a small, overtly liberal town. Golden Hour is that town.
Every moment of Golden Hour is pure joy. The opener, “Slow Burn,” is just that, with Musgraves backed by just an acoustic guitar, a soft drum kicking in at the second verse, and no definitive climax… but she’s alright with a slow burn, and who are we to argue.
“Oh, What a World” is a love-note to the Earth that opens with a mesmerizing vocoder intro, followed closely by “Mother,” a quick, minute-long story of a mother/daughter relationship that Kacey unashamedly wrote while on acid.
Tracks like “Lonely Weekend” and “Butterflies” bring an upbeat element to the record, though the obvious favorite in that category is “High Horse,” a true disco-cowboy anthem about assholes, plain and simple.
Golden Hour closes with “Rainbow,” which Kacey has dedicated on multiple occasions to anyone going through anything in life that may have them down. The song, which has been stripped down to just vocals backed by a grand piano, is one of the most honest, understanding and genuinely helpful tracks about struggle I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. While many artists today like to exploit mental health problems through their music, Kacey takes a more raw, honest route. She’s not telling listeners that they have to be okay right now and she’s not singing about her own struggles. It’s a simple, friendly reminder that things will be okay, as she sings, “The sky is finally open/ The rain and wind stopped blowing.” It’s gorgeous, it’s uplifting and it’s perfect for anyone who may need it.
So push all judgements of country music aside, give Golden Hour a listen, and include a song of your choice on any and all playlists this summer. You’ll thank me, I promise.