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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Her Saturn has returned

Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Deeper Well’ is spring in an album
Fair use from Interscope Records
Fair use from Interscope Records

Kacey Musgrave is back and better than ever with her sixth studio album, “Deeper Well.” She released singles “Deeper Well” and “Too Good To Be True” a few weeks before the album release, giving a precursor to the vibe of the album. Her 2021 album “Star-Crossed” had been distinguished by the Recording Academy as not a country album, so I was interested to see what the genre of “Deeper Well” would be. After listening to the album in full, I decided it’s a combination of her 2019 “Golden Hour” sound and modern country folk music.

The lyrical side of “Deeper Well” shares themes with “Golden Hour,” including imagery of Musgraves’ love and heartbreak. My favorite example of this is the song, “Anime Eyes.” When I first read this title, I was a bit skeptical about what the song would be about. But once the chorus hits and Musgraves sings “When I look at you, I’m always looking through animе eyes, a million little stars bursting into hearts in my anime eyes,” I was hooked. In “Moving Out,” Musgraves describes the good times she had with her partner in their house, singing, “Four walls and so much space, was way more than just a place, a bedroom where you pulled me in, I found out love could start again.” She goes on to describe how it had turned bittersweet once they’d broken up and left the house, singing, “Now autumn’s movin’ in, and we’re movin’ out.”

There are many songs that don’t have to do with love, which was interesting and refreshing. “The Architect” dissects the complexities of the world around us and brings up questions of the Earth’s creation. “Heart of the Woods” touches on our connection to the world and our responsibility as people to look out for each other. Musgraves also examines her personal growth journey throughout this album, specifically with the title track, “Deeper Well.” The song discusses how she has learned what types of people she should keep out of her life, and how she has formed a deeper connection with herself and the world around her. She sings about this connection, “I’m sayin’ goodbye to the people that I feel are real good at wastin’ my time (…) But you got dark energy, somethin’ I can’t unsee, And I’ve got to take care of myself, I found a deeper well.” The song “Sway” has a theme of anxiety and feeling out of control, using the simile of being like a palm tree that bends rather than breaking under pressure. This imagery was really interesting and painted a picture of how Musgraves wants to deal with her mental struggles.

I immediately felt a connection with “Deeper Well.” The songs about personal growth, such as “Deeper Well,” “Sway” and “Nothing to Be Scared Of” felt very transformative and introspective. With the timing of “Deeper Well” being in one of the last months of my senior year, these songs have caused me to do a lot of reflection. It’s hard to passively listen to this album; it’s a collection of songs that forces the listener to think and feel. Although each song on “Deeper Well” has a relatively different topic, they all feel connected, both stylistically and lyrically. The imagery of nature and earthiness and themes of self discovery and transformation, combined with the airy acoustic guitar present throughout the album helps usher in the spring months. Just as winer transitions to spring, Kacey Musgraves is ushering in a new era of growth, soul searching and inner peace.

I also appreciated the way that Musgraves was able to discuss spirituality throughout the album without actually mentioning any specific religion. Many typical modern country artists talk a lot about God in their music, so when the current queen of country pop is able to write lyrics about receiving signs from the the other side (“Cardinal”) and the idea of creation (“The Architect”), without directly referencing Christianity, it comes as a breath of fresh air. The only mention of something in the religious realm is heaven, but only to compare her relationship to in the song “Heaven Is.”

My favorite song on the album, “Cardinal,” has a strong melodic motif of mid-60s blues/progressive rock. The introductory acoustic guitar riff that continues on in the chorus is reminiscent of bands like the Animals, Yes and the Doors. This aspect of the song is what not only makes it a great start to the album, but also my favorite of its songs. The riff draws in the listener and builds expectation for the following songs. Lyrically, this song is about Musgraves seeing a cardinal and interpreting it as a sign from the universe after the loss of a friend. She describes spotting it on a windy day, and asks it, “Are you bringing me a message from the other side? Cardinal, are you tellin’ me I’m on somebody’s mind?”

The album as a whole has a theme of nature, from the lyrics and names of songs like “Heart of the Woods” and “Cardinal” to the album cover itself. Listening to “Deeper Well” in full gave me the feeling that Kacey Musgraves needed to write this album. It seemed deeply spiritual and grounding, and each song emitted strong emotion. I did not enjoy “Star-Crossed” as much as “Golden Hour,” so I was pleasantly surprised by the more acoustic styling of “Deeper Well.” If you like artists like Maggie Rogers, “folklore” era Taylor Swift or older country folk acts like John Denver, you will like “Deeper Well.”

“Deeper Well”: ★★★★★

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About the Contributor
Modesty Manion, Multimedia Editor
Hi there! My name is Modesty, I’m a senior and it’s my third year on Echo. This year I'm Echo's Multimedia Editor, and I am so excited to grow Echo's digital impact! I'm on the varsity nordic ski team, as well as the cross country team, and I love coffee, Gilmore Girls, pop culture, hiking, camping and thrifting. 

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