Kacey Musgraves talked about the guided psychedelic trip that inspired her new album on the podcast A Slight Change of Plans, hosted by Dr. Maya Shankar. Their conversation also includes two snippets of new songs from the follow-up to Musgraves’ Grammy-winning Golden Hour.
Musgraves’ guided LSD trip has been a part of the narrative around the upcoming project, which hasn’t been officially announced. Musical accompaniment — from Bach to shamanic chants to the Beatles — was a part of the experience, and curated in a way that those feelings and memories can be accessed again later.
“They’re songs from all over the world,” Musgraves says. “You listen to this playlist, it guides you through these emotions and feelings purposefully. Some of it’s pretty intense. As you’re coming out of your experience, you’re resonating with these feelings of gratitude and warmth. The music I heard, I’ve never heard music like that in my life. You feel it in your bones, your cells. It’s running through you in a way that I’ve never experienced before.”
Later, she was replaying the playlist and heard a Bach composition that sparked something.
“It was this sorrowful, tragic number,” she says. “The word ‘tragedy’ popped in my head, it was like ‘Boom!’ I was like, ‘Wait, what if the new album is formulated like a modern tragedy?’ It’s a modern tragedy. I’ve been through a tragedy and so has America.”
The album’s title and release date haven’t been announced, but Musgraves notes that it has 15 songs spread across three distinct acts, and five songs per act. Many of the songs deal with the sadness over her divorce from singer Ruston Kelly, like one called “Camera Roll” that was inspired by the existence of photos from her life before the divorce that were still in her phone.
“It fucks me up bad, it still does. After the divorce, you have all these photos of your life, your old life, in your phone and you don’t know what to do with them,” she says, then offers an a cappella preview of the song. “Don’t go through your camera roll, so much you don’t know/ that you’ve forgotten/What a trip, the way you can flip through all the good parts of it/but shouldn’t have done it,” she sings.
Musgraves also finished the episode by singing a bit of “If I Was an Angel,” which she called a song about how people have to change. “If I was an angel, I’d never have to change/I’d never have to change. But something’s gotta change,” she sings.
Presently, Musgraves’ only live show scheduled is Barcelona, Spain’s Primavera Sound in 2022.