To say Kacey Musgraves had a stellar 2018 would be an understatement. Her new record Golden Hour debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, was included on countless music critics’ year-end lists, and won Album of the Year at the Country Music Awards and the Grammys. Former boy band heartthrob Harry Styles—who recruited Musgraves to open for his 2018 solo tour—said, “It’s impossible to listen to her too much.” The world tends to agree. Last year Musgraves played shows from Sweden to Japan, putting her in an elite class of Nashville artists to break out of the South.
It’s no wonder; Golden Hour is an impeccably paced album with infectious melodies and a refreshing lack of yee-haws. Opening track “Slow Burn” commands attention with simple but alluring layers of strings and vocals. “Happy & Sad” articulates that indescribable emotion of two opposite feelings at once, and “Lonely Weekend” addresses the need to balance a social life with proper self-care. While Musgraves’ twangy flair isn’t entirely lost on electro-pop tracks like “Velvet Elvis” and “High Horse,” she draws many different musical elements into her irresistible take on country.
Monday, February 18 will likely be the last time to see Musgraves before she starts headlining arenas, so catch her galloping across the US if you can—she’s already sold out nearly every show on her “Oh, What a World” tour, including her Portland stop at the Schnitz.