New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Review: ‘Deeper Well’ is the embodiment of emotional spring cleaning

Country singer Kacey Musgraves’ sixth studio album, “Deeper Well,” returns to the artist’s roots with refreshing clarity.
Kacey Musgraves released her sixth studio album, “Deeper Well,” on March 15, 2024. (Courtesy of Kelly Christine Sutton)

Margaret Atwood was right — divorce is like amputation. It’s clearing out to start anew, and Kacey Musgraves’ new album is the perfect soundtrack to start the process. The record, with its therapeutic and honest feel, exemplifies country music at its finest.

On March 15, Musgraves released her highly anticipated sixth studio album, “Deeper Well.” The introspective record consists of 14 tracks in which she reflects on how she has grown through emotional upheaval, including moving homes and falling in love again after her recent divorce.

Musgraves began her career by self-releasing three studio albums. In some aspects, “Deeper Well” is reminiscent of these simplistic earlier tracks, as it has a very back-to-basics feel. The instrumentation throughout the record is soft, often including just light piano or discreet guitar. Musgraves’ airy vocal performance fits effortlessly into the record. The minimal production allows her reflective lyrics to pull at listeners’ heartstrings, creating a dream-like experience.

The song “Moving Out” is a prime example of Musgraves’ rumination. Accompanied by soft drums and guitar, she sings about the process of moving out of her home and recounts her memories of her time living there. Despite the specificity of the memories making them unique to her, the song expresses the universally applicable pain of having to let go of a home: “And even though I feel excited / I’m kinda sad we’re leavin’.” This line, like the rest of the song, is simple, yet still effective in capturing the complex emotional experience of moving.

“Jade Green” contains some of Musgraves’ best vocals. In the track, she layers harmonies over her original melody, which create a dreamy essence. She references a bracelet that she always keeps with her. The entire performance, especially the layered harmonies and bright instrumentals, is very reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s early works.

Throughout the album, Musgraves has several revelations that help her move forward from her past. In “Nothing to be Scared Of,” the last song on the album, she sings, “I’ve got my own patterns / Maybe, I can stop them.” It’s the perfect culmination of her album’s message. She’s speaking with her listeners casually, offering advice directly to them. She’ll say, “Come to me and drop your bags / And I’ll help you unpack them,” but then flip the script a verse later, with lyrics like, “I’ll come to you and drop my bags / And you’ll help me unpack them.” This sentiment gracefully brings the record full circle — Musgraves has recognized that we all have baggage, and that we must help one another lighten the load. It’s a graceful end to a reflective album.

“Deeper Well” is a simple reminder that there is “nothing to be scared of” when making a change. She has a dedicated fan base for a reason — her consistent production of heartfelt and honest country music. Musgraves’ newest record teaches its listeners to embrace change and is a must-listen as spring begins to blossom.

Contact Skylar Boilard at [email protected].

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