Kacey Musgraves on What It Took to Make the Album of the Year

The Backstage Q&A After Her CMA Win

In 2014, Kacey Musgraves’ debut album Same Trailer Different Park won a Grammy and an ACM Award. But last night, she won her first CMA Award in the album of the year category.

And when she came backstage after accepting her trophy on Wednesday night (Nov. 14), Musgraves told reporters what it took in order to make this award-worthy Golden Hour record, released in March 2018.
When she set out to make what she called her most personal album yet, she knew that what she needed more than anything was some time to just be idle.

“What I was really craving was time to make it. I took almost a year and half,” Musgraves explained. “Going into the record, I was kind of in a confused place. I didn’t really have a lot of self-confidence and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I wanted to find that thing that made my soul really happy again.”

What she did to find it was come off the road and block her schedule off for an entire year. Then she got together with friends Ian Kitchuck and Daniel Tashian (who ultimately helped her co-produce the album), and she described their collaboration as an instant, organic fit.

“Then I just started imagining this land musically where it was possible to keep these elements of country that are really intrinsic to my music — like pedal steel and banjo — things that root me in country music. But I wanted to explore this new frontier for myself with kind of electronic elements.”

And while Musgraves knows she is known for music with a message, this time, she wanted to go in the opposite direction. “It was really important for me to give people a little bit of a hiding place with this record. We live in such a tumultuous and chaotic time, and a lot of people may have expected some social commentary out of me. But I wanted to turn away from that. I was really inspired to write about this beautiful world that we live in and all these wonderful people. This is a really open-hearted, really positive time,” she said, “and the music is directly inspired by that.”