Kacey Musgraves Finds A ‘Deeper Well’ of Love

While Kacey Musgraves’ new album “Deeper Well” is not as conceptual as her previous work, the story of healing and mending told throughout “Deeper Well” is unmatched.

Country singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves offers an album of spirituality with her March 15 release “Deeper Well.” 

Returning to country after her previous polyphonic album “star-crossed,” Musgraves replenishes the country music scene with new music from a much-needed female voice. With a twist on the religiously patriotic country, her take on musical spirituality is non-traditional, leaving her own religion ambiguous, welcoming those outside the Catholic faith. 

The opening track “Cardinal” starts the journey of opening oneself up to love after being heartbroken, as Musgraves uses the bright red bird as a signal from a friend who has died. The folk guitar and soft drum beat mixed with Musgraves’ signature twangy inflection are a sign to the listener to embrace nature.

“Cardinal / Are you bringing me a message from the other side? / Cardinal / Are you tellin’ me I’m on somebody’s mind?” Musgraves sings. 

Altogether, the album’s opening is a deep breath, calm and restrained. This feeling continues into the titular track. Lighter instrumentals — quick guitar plucking and occasional piano sequences — give the track Musgraves’ traditional vulnerable lyricism, leaving the songwriting to pull most of the weight. 

The titular track “Deeper Well” thoroughly introduces the theme of moving on and finding another source of restoration, which makes its early inclusion in the album an exceptional decision, unfurling the tracklist’s thematic journey to self-healing.

“The things I was taught only took me so far / Had to figure the rest out myself / And then I found / I found a deeper well,” Musgraves sings. 

“Too Good to be True” starts a slew of underdeveloped songs that blend together, including “Moving Out,” “Giver/Taker” and “Sway” — tracks better suited for a deluxe edition. The series of four consecutive tracks was a tooth-and-nail grind to get to the next decent song on the album. 

The seventh track “Dinner with Friends” is an untraditional love song, flowing from friendship to a romantic relationship, Musgraves sings about herself, and the things she loves instead of solely another person. A brief mention of her home state of Texas is followed by a condemnation of its recent restrictive, rightwing laws. 

“Intimate convos that go way into the night / The way that the sun on my floor makes a pattern of light / And early in June, when the fireflies first start to glow, it never gets old,” Musgraves croons. 

Psalm-like lyricism renders “Heart of the Woods” to be encased in freshly bloomed flowers, allowing the harmonic beauty of nature to overtake the song.

From the woods to the caves, Musgraves unearths crystal healing in “Jade Green.” Referencing a bracelet her partner has presumably gifted her, the crystal is symbolic of happiness, according to Healthline

Complementary fast-paced in instrumentals, Musgraves’ voice essentially creates a ripple effect, keeping the listener anticipating the next lyrics. She begins the song by wishing to be bathed in moonlight, which is often a way that people recharge their crystals. 

“I can’t help it, I get anxious / And every time we part / I say a little prayer / To drive away the dark / And I’m with you and you’re with me / Like the bracelet that you gave me,” Musgraves sings. 

Fully embracing her spiritual side, “The Architect” asks if there is someone on the other end of the supplicant’s prayer. The song is the flawless combination of a classic Southern porch song mixed with a religious hymnal. 

“Lonely Millionaire” is Musgraves rendition of the age-old saying “Money can’t buy happiness.” In her case, money can’t buy true, authentic love.  

Another feather from the same wings of “Dinner with Friends,” “Heaven Is” is another love song teetering between cracks of healing and an Icarian fall for a lover. 

“If all I have is the light in your eyes / That’s what heaven is,” Musgraves sings. 

The penultimate song “Anime Eyes” is a near-flawless song — until the out-of-place, unsatisfactory bridge. The reference to Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki was sweet, while the bridge’s “Sailor Moon’s got nothing on me” felt too childish for the theme of maturation.

The album’s saving grace is its commitment to rediscovery of love through healing, strung through each song. Though not as fully conceptual as her 2021 “Romeo & Juliet”-esque album “star-crossed,” “Deeper Well” is about healing and learning to mend a fragile heart. The anecdotal lyricism of “Deeper Well” is truly unmatched. 

In classic Musgraves fashion, the final song is melancholic in tone, yet leaves the listener with a twinge of hope. “Nothing to be Scared Of” is an ode to newfound vulnerability — ending the album of healing with an outreached hand. 

“I’ll come to you and drop my bags / And you’ll help me unpack them / You say I’m the only one you wanna give your love / There’s nothing to be scared of,” Musgraves sings. 
“Deeper Well” is available on all major streaming platforms.

Featured image courtesy of Interscope Records

Xavier Barrios

Xavier Barrios