Kacey Musgraves Is In Her Feelings

The singer's latest high-wire act transforms heartbreak into high art.
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Kacey Musgraves Is In Her Feelings
This is a story about control. Kacey Musgraves thought she had it. She describes the moment when she felt "on top of the world" in 2019, when her record Golden Hour was named Album of the Year at the Grammys. After about 30 seconds of sitting in the audience dumbfoundedly mouthing "What?" she took the stage, wearing bright-red Valentino ruffles, and thanked her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, saying, "This album wouldn't have been created without you." Now, she says ruefully, "If you would've told me the night of the Grammys, 'Hey, in two years, you're going to be divorced and have a whole 'nother album written,' I would have been like, 'Fuck off. No. No way.' "

Musgraves is lying in bed, wearing the kind of waffle-weave robe you associate with fancy hotels, her hair long and loose, her nose ring glinting every so often as she turns, her long gray nails punctuating every gesture. Zooming with her feels like FaceTiming with a friend—such is the brand of intimacy she radiates. At the beginning of this year, she decided to lean all the way into the loss of control she was feeling and take a guided mushroom trip. I'd venture to say that Musgraves has type A tendencies rolled into a type B personality, based on the fact that she used a Johns Hopkins–created playlist made for the purpose, unwilling to completely surrender control of the aux cord even while tripping. She tells me about the psilocybin-induced vision she had of her nine-year-old self—not coincidentally, that was around the age when she began performing music in public—and the compassion she felt for young Kacey. "Less time for bullshit" was a major revelation she came away with. "I am so repelled by the artificial, the chatter, the pressures of society. It doesn't matter. We're not here for very long."


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