Kacey Musgraves teased her new “post-divorce album” on Thursday (Aug. 5) by singing snippets of two songs: “Camera Roll” and “If I Was an Angel.”
The six-time Grammy winner and fellow country musician Ruston Kelly filed for divorce in July 2020 after three years of marriage. While her highly decorated last project Golden Hour — which took home multiple Grammys in 2019, including album of the year — found inspiration from her marriage, her next record will be fueled by her divorce (and psychedelic mushrooms).
“My last album is what people know me for,” she tells Crack magazine in a new cover story. “They see me as this starry-eyed, rose-colored glasses kinda girl; the Golden Hour girl. Well, here I come with a post-divorce album, bursting the f—ing bubble.”
The yet-untitled project follows the format of a three-part Greek tragedy (“I opened my eyes like, ‘Tragedy – I’ve been through a f—ing tragedy!'” she described her revelation stemming from her shrooms trip) and was recorded within two-and-a-half weeks. The album consists of 15 songs, which are split evenly into the three acts. The “Rainbow” singer previewed two of them during Thursday’s episode of A Slight Change of Plans podcast, pointing to “Camera Roll” as the most difficult track from an emotional standpoint.
“Man … it f—s me up bad. Like it still does,” she said of the song to host Dr. Maya Shankar. “After the divorce and everything, you have all these photos of your life, your old life, in your phone and you don’t know what to do with them. You’re like, ‘Do I delete this? This person didn’t die.’ And these are still my memories, but I don’t want to see him every day. Well, you get to scrolling on your phone, like one late night, and you just wander down this dark alley with all these wonderful memories at one point and then you’re just f—ing stabbed in the heart!”
Once her ill-fated late-night scrolling got her in her feels, Musgraves recalled taking a stroll past her piano and having the melody and lyrics just flow right out of her. “‘Don’t go through your camera roll/ So much you don’t know that you’ve forgotten/ What a trip, the way you can flip/ Through all the good parts of it/ I shouldn’t have done it/ Chronological order and nothing but torture/ Scroll too far back, that’s what you get/ I don’t want to see him, but I can’t delete him/ It just doesn’t feel right yet, not yet,'” she sang.
Sonically, the 32-year-old artist says the new LP has “more of a foot in country” than Golden Hour did, despite its country categorization at multiple awards shows. But when it comes to the recording process, Musgraves parallels it to grieving: “Denial, anger, sadness, depression, bargaining, guilt… [I’ve felt] all of those things,” she told Crack, later adding that the new album captures “the push and pull of tension between sorrow and joy” as she explores life after marriage.
At the tail-end of the podcast episode, she sings a line from “If I Was an Angel”: “If I was an angel, I’d never have to change/ I’d never have to change/ But something’s gotta change.”
Listen to Musgraves sing “Camera Roll” around the 10-minute mark and “If I Was an Angel” around the 31-minute mark in the podcast below.