Ignored Obscured Restored
I generally don’t have much respect for the Grammys. They have a long history of picking one-hit-wonders for Best New Artist (Starland Vocal Band, Milli Vanilli) and awarding Album of the Year to iconic artists long after they released their best work (Dylan, Clapton, Bonnie Raitt). Not to be too cynical, I must admit there have also been some very good choices in both of those categories that have made amends for their boo-boos.
Last month, the 2019 award for Album of the Year went to Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves, a great choice. Two songs from the album, “Butterflies” and “Space Cowboy”, also won Grammys – for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song.
Musgraves has the rare quality of mainstream popularity with a bit of rebel mixed in. While primarily a conventional country artist, she bucks the stereotypical demographic of country music fans with her open position supporting LGBT rights and a fondness for booze (she and her band drink a tequila shot before each show), weed and the occasional psychedelic (she openly admits that she wrote “Mother” on acid and has taken mushrooms).
This is an image she cultivated since the release of her first album Same Trailer Different Park (2013) that included the song “Follow Your Arrow” with the lyrics:
lots of noise
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that’s something you’re into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up the joint, or don’t
Just follow your arrow
Today’s SotW is “Slow Burn,” the opening track from Golden Hour.
Regarding “Slow Burn,” Musgraves told Rolling Stone:
“It’s an idea I can apply to a lot of different areas of my life,” she says, taking a break from editing a new video. “I want to be here for a long time doing what I love, and I don’t feel I need to try to be the biggest I can be, the quickest. And I even thought of a good drink that you sip on for a long time. Or a slow burn of a relationship that starts with a little bit of a spark and doesn’t burn out too quick.”
There’s something about the arrangement of this song that reminds me of “Casimir Pulaski Day” from Sufjan Steven’s Illinois which in turn reminded me of Neil Young’s “Old Man” (maybe it’s the banjos).
Dig in to Golden Hour and the rest of Musgraves’ catalog. You won’t regret it.
Enjoy… until next week.