For this week’s Top 10 Tuesday we decided to take a look at some of the best songs ever released by Kacey Musgraves. The 2019 CMA Female Artist Of The Year, and Grammy winner for her critically acclaimed album, Golden Hour, has become a superstar even without the help of the country radio establishment.
Let’s get to it!
10) Happy & Sad (Golden Hour)- On Happy & Sad Musgraves is able to eloquently convey the perplexing nature of felling “happy and sad at the same time” despite the fact that there is no word that accurately conveys this combination of feelings, Musgraves is able convey this relatable feeling effectively throughout the track.
9) Family Is Family (Pageant Material)- On Family is Family, Musgraves is able to effectively convey the message that despite what has happened in the past or will happen in the future the bond of family is unbreakable to her, even if they’re in ‘prison’
8) Butterflies (Golden Hour)- The first single off of Musgraves third album, Butterflies features Musgraves as a girl who is open to the idea of love again after being let down in the past. Musgraves uses incredible imagery throughout the song but the most evocative image is in the chorus when Musgraves sings “ stealing my heart instead of stealing my crown, untangled all the string ‘round my wings that were tied”. This imagery is part of what helped Golden Hour become the biggest album of Musgraves career to date.
7) Keep It To Yourself (Same Trailer Different Park)- Keep It To Yourself features Musgraves as a girl in the process of getting over her ex. Throughout the song Musgraves pleads with her ex not to call her up when he’s drunk and alone, and to please keep it to himself. Musgraves, fears that should they speak she’ll find herself back in the relationship that left her broken in the first place. Musgraves’ famous clear tone is on full display on this song telling the story in an incredibly beautiful fashion.
6) Pageant Material (Pageant Material)- The title track of Musgraves’ second album showcases the witty songwriter that has made Musgraves one of the music’s biggest stars. Throughout the song Musgraves hilariously details all the ways that she is not “Pageant Material”, from always being “higher than (her) hair” to poking fun at the common responses given by pageant contestants by singing “it ain’t that I don’t care about world peace but I don’t see how I can fix it in a swimsuit on a stage”. Pageant Material is an often overlooked gem in Musgraves’ arsenal.
5) Biscuits (Pageant Material)- Possibly the wittiest song in Musgraves catalog, Biscuits has Musgraves pleading with people to simply mind their own business. The fiery message is set over beautiful instrumentation which adds to why this song is such an enjoyable listen and helps convey the message behind the song.
4) Space Cowboy (Golden Hour)- One of Musgraves’ biggest hits, Space Cowboy features Musgraves at her best. Musgraves sings about falling for the wrong kind of guy, a cowboy despite the fact that they always run away. Musgraves cleverly twists the term “space cowboy” to tell him that he can have his space instead of fruitlessly attempting to tie down a guy that will never stay.
3) Cup Of Tea (Pageant Material)- Cup Of Tea is yet another example of Musgraves’ witty nature as a storyteller. On Cup Of Tea, Musgraves conveys the message that not everyone’s gonna like you in possibly the most clever way. Musgraves sings that “you can’t be everybody’s cup of tea”. Musgraves’ ability to deliver important messages in this whimsical, understated way is what makes her such an incredible artist and an even better writer.
2) Rainbow (Golden Hour)- The biggest streaming hit of Musgraves’ career, Rainbow features Musgraves reassuring people not to live in their fears because “there’s always been a rainbow hanging over your head”. Musgraves’ storytelling and clear tone once again shine throughout this track and drive home the message in a way that not many others can.
1) Merry Go ‘Round (Same Trailer Different Park)- The first hit of her career, and my introduction to Musgraves, Merry Go ‘Round is set around Musgraves telling the story of a small town that no one ever leaves. Musgraves eloquently describes this town as a “Merry Go ‘Round”. The most stellar moment of the track is in the chorus when Musgraves uses the similar sounding Merry and Marry to deliver a chorus that has since defined her career “Mamas hooked on Mary Kay
Brothers hooked on Mary Jane
And daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down
Mary, Mary quite contrary
We get bored so we get married
And just like dust we settle in this town
On this broken merry go ’round and ’round and ’round we go
Where it stops nobody knows
And it ain’t slowin’ down
This merry go ’round”
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