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Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris and the Politics of Joy

Mitchell Cohen, Music Aficionado, July 2019

NOT MANY people in the audience at Irving Plaza in New York knew who Kacey Musgraves was when she opened there for Little Big Town in early 2013. Same Trailer, Different Park, her debut major-label album, hadn't yet been released, so she was introducing herself to the big-city crowd, and what she did was spin out one finely etched, smartly detailed song after another: 'The Trailer Song', about gossip and boundaries; the witty 'Merry Go Round', which draws a picture of small-town hypocrisy (it's like a 21st century 'Harper Valley P.T.A.'); 'Follow Your Arrow', where she cheerfully tells everyone not to worry about what anyone else might think, and to just smoke whatever and kiss whomever. On "It Is What It Is," she's matter-of-fact about hooking up with no expectations.

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