Music Critic Sammy Andrews reviews Kacey Musgrave’s latest album, describing it as a journey of growth

MA Shakespeare Studies student

It has become very easy to say that an album is an introspection. Artists more and more frequently are looking inward, utilising the form of an album to navigate and document that process. But Deeper Well deals with something a little bit more than simple introspection. Balancing the spiritual with the mundane, in Deeper Well Kacey Musgraves ruminates on her position in the world around her and all of its kaleidoscopic offerings. 

Bristling with beautiful folksy guitar patterns, Musgraves is sonically nursing her country roots. Deeper Well is stripped back, and on the most part a very melodic collection of acoustic guitar melodies and vocal harmonies. With such a delicate soundscape, each song feels both light and deeply intimate, inviting you into her journey. 

Musgraves laces Deeper Well with a deep sense of her connection to the world around her

In Deeper Well, we find Musgraves planting her roots and observing her growth. Weaving together symbols from the natural world of change, growth and inner peace, Musgraves laces Deeper Well with a deep sense of her connection to the world around her. Opening track ‘Cardinal’ welcomes springtime and offers an invitation to see beauty and meaning in everyday life, symbolised by a visit from Texas’ native bird. 

Meanwhile, title track ‘Deeper Well’ sees Musgraves take stock of her past and taking in a breath of fresh air as she moves forward to look after herself on her own terms. Similarly, ‘Heart of the Woods’ invites you into a forest landscape to contemplate the need for us to look after each other and our connection to the natural environment. 

Musgraves is at her best in Deeper Well when she is balancing deeply spiritual introspection with details of the world around her. In ‘The Architect’ Musgraves meditates on predestiny and fate, whilst in ‘Dinner With Friends’ she offers a seemingly simple list of her favourite parts of life. What would seem as small as ‘the layers and ruffles from my favourite pink champagne cake’, Musgraves elevates to ‘the things I would miss from the other side.’ Deeper Well is closely concerned with the afterlife, but never so much that Musgraves loses sight of what is right in front of her and the beauty it offers, culminating in ‘Heaven Is’ where she concludes ‘if all I have is the light in your eyes / That’s what heaven is.’  

It is this beauty in mundanity that shines in Deeper Well

It is this beauty in mundanity that shines in Deeper Well. Musgraves has built a reputation for witty lyricism and sharp turns of phrases, and yet that is not as prominent on Deeper Well as in her previous discography. It is then difficult in moments like ‘Anime Eyes’ and ‘Lonely Millionaire’ to see where these songs fit in the album. They offer whimsical and fun moments, but also take you out of the journey Musgraves is sowing. 

Deeper Well is a journey of growth, and not simply one of evolution but of nurture. Taking in the world around her and all it has to offer, on Deeper Well, Musgraves sows the seeds of who she wants to become and explores how she can get there. There is never a grand epiphany of one thing that needs to be done, but instead a deep breath and a deep appreciation for what she has, stepping into a blossom with the final line of the album ‘there’s nothing to be scared of.’ 

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