Kacey Musgraves falls in and out of love in a pair of new songs, the first music to officially see release from her new LP Golden Hour. You can hear both songs, “Butterfly” and “Space Cowboy,” below.
“Butterflies” has been a regular feature of Musgraves’ live shows for the past year, usually performed as a solo acoustic tune. The new studio version of the song fleshes out that sound, with a tiptoeing piano melody and electronic accompaniment, including some heavily manipulated vocal harmonies. Those still-subtle touches add a daydream-like quality to what may be the Texas native’s most sincere, and vulnerable, love ballad, gently cooing in the refrain, “Now you’re lifting me up instead of holding me down, stealing my heart instead of stealing my crown.”
If “Butterflies” bears the mark of head-over-heels romance – it was written shortly after she’d met her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, whom she married last October – then “Space Cowboy” is the flip side of the coin, and somewhat more familiar territory for a singer whose views on love have rarely been sentimental. “You can have your space, cowboy, I ain’t gonna fence you in,” Musgraves sings, seeing the end of a love affair as being as inevitable as a sunset. With glistening steel pedal and swirling echo effects, “Space Cowboy” mixes her familiar twang with the melodrama of a pop power ballad.
Golden Hour, Musgraves’ third LP of all original songs and first since 2015’s Pageant Material, was recorded above a horse stable at Sheryl Crow’s house, and the Grammy winner has cited a diverse set of pop performers such as the Bee Gees and Sade as key influences. The album arrives March 30th.
Musgraves heads out on tour with Harry Styles in June and is currently on the road with Little Big Town’s the Breakers Tour, which stops in Uncasville, Connecticut, Friday night.