“Golden Hour” Will Make You Fall in Love with Country Music

I’m not a huge country fan but on her latest album, Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves makes a compelling case for the genre. Golden Hour has reached critical success since its release in last March; on NPR’s “Best Albums of the Year” list it was ranked number #3,  received an 8.7 from Pitchfork and was nominated for “Best Country Music Album” in the upcoming 61st Annual Grammy Awards.

The warmth and clarity of Musgraves’ voice is central to Golden Hour and there are few like hers in the business today. She’s in no rush on the record’s opening track, Slow Burn. “I’m gonna do it my way, it’ll be alright,” she sings over a lilting acoustic guitar; the line feels like an echo to the ways in which Musgraves’ bends the genre of country. “Lonely Weekend,” an anthem sung for introverts, is a swinging acoustic-pop jam. While Musgraves’ use of vocoders throughout “Oh, What A World” and “Space Cowboy” give the tracks a galactic twist. And then there’s “High Horse,” a thumping disco bop about “that someone” everyone knows that needs to step off of their pedestal.

Related: Kacey Musgraves Making Country Music History

The tracks, “Golden Hour” and “Butterflies” are heartfelt love letters to Musgraves’ now-husband and fellow country singer, Ruston Kelly. On “Butterflies,” she has found new love and wonderfully ecastic to declare it; “Cloud nine was always out of reach/ Now, I remember what it feels like to fly.” The album’s title track is my personal favorite, and it was the one that got me hooked to this album. “Keep me in your glow,” she sings in her charming Texas twang, “‘Cause I’m having such a good time with you.” Musgraves is deeply in love and “Golden Hour” feels like a manifesto to that very special feeling.

There’s a misconception you need to be a certain kind of person to enjoy country music, but believe me, Golden Hour is for everyone. So if you’ve got a little under an hour to spare, why not give it a shot?