0307: “My House” by Kacey Musgraves

It don’t matter where we go
We’ll never be alone
Anywhere beside you is a place that I’ll call home

These are the last lyrics of “My House,” a song that is genuinely one of the sweetest songs I have ever heard. Kacey Musgraves’ major label debut album Same Trailer Different Park is dotted with sentimental and guileless lyrics such as these and written with an earnestness that feels fleshed out to the point that it becomes easier to detect the facsimile sentimentality that many pop songs trade in. Songs that make you feel the sweetness without asking you to jump in syrup is the antidote to cynicism. Musgraves is able to pull this off even while daring to put herself behind the eight ball by opening the album with “Silver Lining.” “My House” sounds like many modern country pop songs to the untrained ear but listen to how her vocals anchor the song and how her accent is subtly wrangled—listen to how “hitch your wagon” becomes “hitch your wAgon” and “living room I’m dragging” becomes “living room I’m drAgging,” that little vocal uptick so briefly dixie fried. She’s not trying to hit you on the head with Southern-ness with her vocals because she doesn’t have to; the album title and the lyrics already paint a certain picture of that. What is left is the image of the artist and the breathing of life into the words, which is to say that Musgraves must walk between two worlds—that of the real Texas and Tennessee music scenes, and the idea of what many people outside of those states think those scenes really are like. Musgraves being a contestant on the show Nashville Star before this album further shows her ability to traverse both worlds. She looks like a country pop star and sounds like a country pop star but the key is in the delivery and I’ve not heard many artists pull off singing “If I can’t bring you to my house/I’ll bring my house to you” with a gentleness and a sweetness like she does. It is sometimes said that pop music is like candy. “My House” is a peach cobbler made in some small town that people drive in from two counties away to eat, each bite melting their soul.

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