Kacey Musgraves put her sweet, soft “Velvet Elvis” on display during an appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden Thursday night. The performance from the show’s intimate Stage 56 highlighted one of the many standout tracks from Musgraves’ recently released Golden Hour album, hailed for its sparkling blend of genres, including country, pop and disco.
“Velvet Elvis,” penned by the singer with Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, celebrates what many consider to be the height of Seventies kitsch – colorful paintings of the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley, on a black velvet background. But in the song’s romantic lyrics, Musgraves sings about what she’s really in search of, namely a partner with “a good laugh, jet black sparkle in his eyes.” Later in the tune, she invokes Presley again with the line, “I need a Graceland kind of man who’s always on my mind.” In yet another nod to the disco era, Musgraves and band are dressed in powder blue, the color most associated with Seventies tuxedos and the like.
The history of black velvet suggests the art form may be more classical than its camp reputation suggests. In the 14th century, explorer Marco Polo encountered works in the unique medium while traveling in Kashmir. And in 2010, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., included several “Velvet Elvis” paintings in an exhibit marking the King’s 75th birthday.
Musgraves kicks off her upcoming tour with Harry Styles on June 5th in Dallas.