One of the worst thrift stores I ever went to unintentionally brought me one of my favorite albums I've ever had the pleasure enjoying.
It was a bad smelling thrift store, the kind that smells far too musty with moth balls and dust, with the ever so light note of BO to top it off. Also, almost every garment on the shelf had a hole in it! I only bought a single garment from that place (yes, I managed to find a hole-less cardigan) and I have since decided I don't even like that garment.
But while I was in that store, I heard a pleasant sounding song over the station playing overhead. I used a song app to identify it as "Rainbow", and added to my Spotify (I was a Spotify user at the time, but have since switched to Apple Music for the superior audio quality) to listen later.
It's typical of me to, when I discover a new song from an artist I don't already listen to, I will listen to the one song I found for awhile, come to love it, then when I'm feeling ambitious and impulsive I will venture into the album, and even the artist, to discover more.
Such is how it happened for me to discover the rest of this wonderful, beautiful, different album called "Golden Hour", by Kacey Musgraves.
I won't bore you any longer with how I came about listening to it.
I'm simply interested in discussing what I like about it so much, for mainly my own enjoyment, as it pertains to me and my view of the world and my opinions during this season of my life (which, granted, is a very narrow viewpoint. I am not the kind who is able to speak intelligently and from a place of knowledge about music, or much of anything else. If you come into this blog, or even this post, expecting to broaden your mind and intellect with my knowledge and opinions of everything in my microscopic world, needless to say, dear friend, you will be disappointed).
So here we go.
In speaking about the album as a whole, I love the diversity in sound from your usual country or pop music. Wikipedia says it is a "Country and country pop record... which explores elements of disco, electropop, electronica, and yacht rock". It's atypical yet beautiful, different yet comforting.
It's the closest thing to actual country music I can stomach listening to, honestly. Kacey Musgraves took something that I historically dislike (dare I say abhor), and made something I admire and adore! No artist I know has succeeded in making me love country so much.
Let me talk about some of the tracks...
I love how the song begins, it is shy and sweet, it pulls me in right away. And then we are met with Musgraves lovely, simple voice. This song speaks to me because it is typical of me to prefer taking the slow side of things. Sometimes I, like all people, rush into things, but I will always preach the benefits of taking one's time. This song is quiet and relaxing and makes me think of walking through the springtime sunlight, a light breeze on the air. I am here, taking my time, trying to learn what I can with the life I've been given. God's timing is usually slow, forcing me to take my time and learn to be patient with myself and with His work.
"You know the bar down the street don't close for an hour, we could take a walk, and look at all the flowers."
"Old soul, waiting my turn, I know a few things but I still got a lot to learn."
I am still learning to be ok with being alone.
It's harder sometimes. Some experiences don't seem worth living when you don't have someone to share it with. Some weeks it's just me and my own depressing thoughts and anxieties at my workplace, only to end the work week with two days off- full of nothingness. For me, nothingness causes depression, but somethings cause anxiety. After trying to be something with two different significant others in 2020 (one which, I never thought would work out, and the other I really did think would work out, both hurting in the end), the LORD has brought me back to the place where I am by myself. Alone again. Perhaps I can learn more this time around, now that I know how distracting it is to try to work on myself when there's somebody else.
"Even if you got somebody on your mind, it's alright to be alone sometimes, sometimes."
"I guess everybody else is out tonight, guess I'm hangin' by myself, but I don't mind."
This is the very next track I heard when venturing into this album to see what it had to offer after falling in love with "Rainbow". This track is a nod to my personal tendency to fall for people far too easily. This song reminds me to set aside feelings of bitterness, jealousy, hurt, even anger when thinking about important people in my life who have come and gone, and just remember the lovely feeling of it all, the wonderfulness of time spent with people I cared about at the time. I am a hopeless romantic. Always waiting on the edge of the heart to be swept away by romance. It's in my blood. I love being in love. The LORD is using this part of my life to learn to step back outside of any feeling I might have for someone, and view things logically, sensibly, and with a higher perspective.
"I didn't know him, and he didn't know me. Cloud nine was always out of reach. Now I remember what it feels like to fly! You give me butterflies. You give me butterflies."
☆Oh, What a World
I love the way Apple Music talks about this track. "Most endearing, perhaps, is 'Oh, What a World', Kacey's free-spirited ode to the magic of humankind that was written in the glow of an acid trip. It's all so graceful and low-key that even the toughest country purists will find themselves swaying along." My mind is ever being pulled in two directions, an existential dread of life like a backpack full of rocks, and my aboslute, childlike wonder of the world around me. This song reminds me how much I adore my mind's perception of God's world. People, places, things, feelings, affection, sunshine! It is all so wonderful and, as Apple Music puts it, "endearing".
"Oh, what a world, I don't wanna leave. There's all kinds of magic, it's hard to believe. Thank God it's not too good to be true. Oh, what a world, and then there is you."
And here we have one of my favorites on the album. This song spoke to my heart even before I tried to be in a relationship with someone I thought was the 'one'. Now, since I've had then lost my cowboy, it's even more personal to my ever-romantic soul. I am the kind of person who needs their space, absolutely. I was willing to give him his. I guess he wanted more. So he left. I didn't fight it. I don't now. And I won't. What's meant to be mine I won't ever have to fight for. I thank God for the wonderful times I had with him, and he can drive off in his truck and it's ok if I'll never see him again. I'll treasure the memories, the day trips, the unknown wilderness of what we were to each other while it lasted. All I can say is, I'm sorry you believed what you believed, I'm sorry it ended that way. I thought I loved you. I think now I only loved how you made me feel. I only love romance. Sunsets fade and love does too.
"Boots weren't made for sitting by the door. Since you don’t wanna stay anymore, you can have your space, cowboy. I ain't gonna fence you in. Go on, ride away in your Silverado, guess I'll see you round again. I know my place, and it ain't with you. Well, sunsets fade, and love does too. Yeah, we had our day in the sun. When a horse wants to run, there ain't no sense in closing the gate. You can have your space, cowboy."
☆Happy & Sad
This song, the lyrics and the title, makes all the sense in the world without me having to say a word about it. It speaks to my excitement, my sense of wonder for the world, my wanting to jump right in, yet being held back just enough by anxiety. Jumping from one dopamine high to the next, just to get by, for fear of missing out, wanting to experience all I can in this life. Perhaps that high is a person. Perhaps that high is an experience. Until its all crashes down and then there is only depression, because everything that goes up must come down.
"Is there a word for the way that I'm feeling tonight? Happy and sad at the same time. You got me smiling with tears in my eyes. I never felt so high. No, I've never been this far off of the ground. And they say everything that goes up must come down. But I don't wanna come down."
"I don't mind at all, no, I'm used to fallin'. I'm comfortable when the sky is grey. But when everything is perfect, I start hiding, cause I know that rain is comin' my way, my way."
There are two songs in the album that, when I'm in the right mood, will bring tears to my eyes for just a moment. "Space Cowboy", and "Rainbow". The piano, the tempo, the lyrics, her sweet voice. It speaks of hopes, colors, dreams, in the midst of the perpetual grey of life. It is gloomy, yet optimistic. Sad yet happy. Depressing, yet hopeful. What is life, if it isn't a constant, repeating state being in the midst of the moody, grey rain. The sadness. The betrayal. The weight in the heart to move forward.
And yet in the midst of it all, colors.
I speak lies if I say that God doesn't shower generous amounts of patience and love on me, to coax me forward every step at my own snail's pace. It seems I'm always in the same old storms. Yet there is always a rainbow.
"If you could see what I see, you'd be blinded by the colors. Yellow, red, orange and green, and at least a million others. So tie up the boat, take off your coat, and take a look around, 'cause the sky has finally opened, the rain and wind stopped blowing'. But you're stuck out in the same ol' storm again! You hold tight to your umbrella. Well, darlin', I'm just tryin' to tell ya that there's always been a rainbow hangin' over your head!"
There are other tracks than the ones mentioned here, all which are unique and lovely, and that nod to my heart in various ways. These here in the post are the ones that I hold the closest in my heart. Even in ways I don't know how to express in typing, yet is felt by my soul.
I've loved this album for over a year, but I stopped listening to it in October 2020, only halfway with intention. It is a springtime album, I wanted to save it until at least March. I listened to it for the first time since my heart had been made lonely again, and it spoke to me in new and unique ways than I had remembered.
I did listen to it earlier than I planned. February instead of March. Perhaps I will tuck it away again for awhile, in my heart and in my Apple Music library, like a fond old memory, until I'm ready to take it out, look it over, remember it, and re-live the magic and the feelings during a time still in the future.
~ Amaris // ☆