Kacey Musgraves’ ‘Deeper Well’: All 14 Tracks Ranked

For Kacey MusgravesDeeper Well is all about relishing the smaller moments that upon reflection — and Deeper Well is nothing if not reflective — become those memories that you look back upon and savor. Whether it’s a lover who helps you unpack or the unexpected pattern the sun casts on the floor, appreciating the little gestures adds up to days full of gratitude. 

On her fifth set, out today (March 15) through Interscope/MCA Nashville, Musgraves reunites with producers Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian on this largely acoustic, mid-tempo album that sets a lovely, agreeable mood from the first guitar chords on opener “Cardinal.” From there, the listener floats away on billowing clouds pillowed by Musgraves’ unadorned, vulnerable vocals. 

If her last album, 2021’s star-crossed, found Musgraves working through her divorce and embracing love again, Deeper Well‘s theme is surrender. Whether it’s to ruminate on Saturn’s return (“Deeper Well”), question life’s bigger picture (“The Architect”) or wonder what happens when we die (“Dinner with Friends”), Musgraves approaches all with a certain acceptance that her 35 years and a good amount of soul searching have brought her.

Musically, the album, recorded at New York’s historic Electric Lady Studio, veers toward folk and the atmospheric soft pop of the ‘70s. Like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot, Musgraves, who co-wrote all of the songs on the set, has a gift for intimately setting a scene that instantly transports the listener into her world. The songs, some of which are as short as 2:16, easily and seamlessly flow from one to the next. What the music lacks in diversity, it makes up for in a pleasing continuity that is welcome and soothing in these troubled times. 

A gentleness pervades the album, but don’t confuse that with a lack of edge. If Musgraves isn’t quite as pointed as she has been in the past, she still has plenty to say as she dismisses those “who are real good at wasting my time” on the title track. 

Here’s how Billboard ranks the 14 tracks on Deeper Well.

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