June 17, 2024

Music Plugng Melodic Hub

Beats Of Music

mystical country pop at its finest

3 min read

From the moment the layered, harmonic chorus of birdsong played before the opening of Cardinal, the first song on the setlist and the first on Musgraves’ sixth studio album Deeper Well, Kacey Musgraves had the audience captivated.

With minimal to no phones in sight and nothing but the measured, soul-bearing melodies of sweet, mystical country pop to bless the ears of Roundhouse attendees, the singer and her band immediately swept Camden into a nostalgic Texas wonderland.

Having begun her career in the early 2000s, Musgraves has learned to be comfortable on stage. So comfortable, in fact, that it felt as though we were in a bar somewhere in her hometown listening to witty tales about her musical mystery rides and failed love affairs. She moved with a casual rhythm which says she’s comfortable in herself and her music, and this in turn elevated her performance tenfold.

Musgraves even took the time to recount the disastrous early days of the Deeper Well (or “Deeper Unwell”, as she puts it) UK tour, where she and other members of the band fell ill with some kind of food poisoning. Grace and decorum be damned, Musgraves unabashedly declared that she indeed “S**t herself” on the Aran Islands during an “Eat Pray Love single girl” solo trip.

It’s safe to say that this bizarre tale, and the subsequent chiming in of fellow infected bandmembers who caught the bug on her return, served as a strange break in the expertly curated and wonderfully smooth setlist.

Yet somehow, it only worked to bring Musgraves and her ever-loyal audience closer. Her songs are soul-bearing, and it’s a relief to know that Musgraves is just as open when ad-libbing among friends and fans.

There’s an innate old-world revival feeling to the singer’s stripped-back tour, accentuated by the casual sways of her extremely cohesive musical collective (the vast majority of which happened to be wearing near identical tailored suits) and the Ohio Star quilt block insignia illuminated behind the performers.

Perhaps the only incongruity was her extra-long bangs and Peter Pan collared dress, which rather resembled a look by the famed, fictional Rachel Berry of Glee.

Musgraves also took the irony of her country routes and modern sensibility on the chin, stating “It’s real fun getting banned from country radio,” before seamlessly moving into Follow Your Arrow – a song about self-acceptance and inclusion.

By the latter half of the set, which included songs from her Golden Hour and Star-Crossed albums, the audience had been set alight with Musgraves’ ephemeral pop-country excellence.

The singer’s voice sounds as honeyed, clear and impossibly smooth as ever which, paired with her story-filled tangents and “mother is mothering” response to hollering fans, imbues Musgraves with the talent, elegance and humour of a true country star.

It’s safe to say that the singer-songwriter is only getting better and better. While there were certainly very lively moments where the odd cowboy hat toting fan whooped and screamed for an older song, Musgraves’ new album and its live performance represents her maturity as a musician and her inherently playful, pop-loving self.

When first greeting the audience, Musgraves gave the audience a compliment, “Y’all are looking spicey like you came here to party, but also heal” – which wonderfully sums up the entire, 24-song country pop extravaganza.


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