Kacey Musgraves is one of the biggest and brightest country music stars today, emerging as one of Nashville’s boldest and most authentic artists. Musgraves released her sophomore studio album Pageant Material last week to strong acclaim and tracks that tread personal observations of a small town.
First bursting onto the scene back in 2013 with her debut studio album, Same Trailer, Different Park, Musgraves became an overnight success and country’s darling with healthy liberal attitudes and themes. On her latest record, the usually alternative-country singer is much more confident in its styling with being able to fuse mainstream with a 1970’s countrypolitan flair.
Much of Pageant Material is about personal tussles with the subject of perception versus reality. Is life really what it seems? Written entirely by Kacey Musgraves and produced by Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, and Musgraves herself, the record is by far one of the best this year.
Kicking off with the summery and unperturbed, “High Time,” Musgraves hits higher registers as she moseys along a 1950’s sound. With well-timed claps and carefree whistling, the track is the epitome of a country song and Musgraves brings it back full circle with its lyrics (“Ain’t got to be alone to feel lonely”). It is incredibly enjoyable and something to blast loud this summer.