• subscribe
  • Search
  • Deeper Well Deep Dive
    Sign Up For Weekly Dispatch
    Get the best of BGS delivered to your inbox.
    We Respect Your Privacy
Roots Culture Redefined

Header Main

Place Ads

Deeper Well Deep Dive

Apr 18, 2024

Deeper Well Deep Dive

Editor’s Note: To celebrate the release of Kacey Musgraves’ Deeper Well, we invited TikTok star, actor, creator, and musician Andi Marie Tillman to guide us on an apropos album ‘Deeper’ dive. Watch her video commentary or enjoy the written version of her thoughts and reactions to the stunning new record below.

Sign up here to receive Good Country issues when they launch, direct to your email inbox via Substack.

Let’s go on a ride, shall we? I’m about to listen to the Kacey Musgraves album, Deeper Well. I’m hoping that we go so far down this well that we’re gonna get to Wonderland. Let’s see…


‘70s all the way!

Okay, right there, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, 100%. All the influences there – the harmonies, the double melody. Even the way it’s mixed, where all the voices kind of sit in that same space.

I love that. That feels so much like “Wooden Ships” in that Crosby, Stills, & Nash era. Such a fresh spin on it, though.

What’s that professional baseball team, the Cardinals? Ain’t there a professional baseball team that’s the Cardinals? Maybe they ought to make this their theme song. Really, this is the way to get chicks into baseball again. I like to think of us all in the Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights” red dress out on the field.

“Deeper Well” 

Now let’s go to the title track, “Deeper Well.”

Love that strumming. I like that sweet refrain. I think that it travels well into the next verse. It seems to set out what the album’s intention is.

It does feel like this title track here, she is trying to communicate, “Hey, I’ve matured. I ain’t all about just the drugs. I ain’t all about getting high and having a good time.”

“Too Good to be True”

Now, shut up if that ain’t a Joni Mitchell little guitar intro right there! That’s like “Little Green” right there, a hundred percent. That’s like a “Ladies of the Canyon” kind of intro. Even the mix!

Now, that to me is quintessential country. When you got a clever line in there, that wordplay. “Be good to me, I’ll be good to you. But please don’t be too good to be true.”

That, to me, is like old school ladies of country, when they’re talking about love, but they’re like, “I’m going to be clever about it. I’m going to pull a Jane Austen on you.”

That right there is a Kacey Musgraves moment. That right there screamed Kacey to me. I almost said “scrumpt.” [Laughs] “Scrampt.” My Appalachian really came out there! But that right there is a Kacey moment, when the drum drops in that second verse. That was huge for Golden Hour. I remember “Slow Burn,” that was huge for “Slow Burn.” You know, she had that open chord and then the drum came in on the second verse. I know a lot of people do that, but it really felt like a Kacey move there. And it feels good too.

Love that harmony there. A lot of those harmonies remind me of Shania’s Come On Over. I don’t know who the guy is that did the background vocals for that, but the “Still the one / still the one I run to / one that I belong to…” the harmony in that is so freaking good. Go back and listen to it, but the harmonies here are tight.

This album makes me want to go buy a lamp. And move into a new house. Like it’s making me want to uproot my whole life and tell my husband we’re moving. We’re moving to California.

“Moving Out”

So something a little bit more straightforward, here. I am expecting a good story, because the instrumentation is kind of simple.

Oh, that hurts me! Okay. So autumn’s moving in and we’re moving out. As you see that, it’s almost like you can feel the transition of the season and she’s got all these vignettes of a marriage, like the resolution of a marriage, the eventual fading away of this relationship. That’s really, really pretty.

I even like how that little guitar whines at the end, an echoing of the haunting.

Kacey! That was campy as shit! Okay, so she even had a little sound effect for “it might be haunted” and you can kind of hear the ghostly echoes in the background. I love a campy moment! Good for you!

Anyone who’s been in a breakup can feel this one. Anyone who’s ever lived with somebody and had to say goodbye knows that that is so painful when you’ve intertwined lives with them. And then you do start to play that back. With every room that you clear out, it’s like you go through each room and your ghosts dance in front of you. I feel like she has set up these beautiful vignettes of a marriage that you get to peek into, like little rooms of a house. Each verse feels like that.

“Giver / Taker”

Nick Drake, where are you son?! We got some Nick Drake here, hon. Oh, I love it. I love all these open chords, sis.

She took Nick Drake, made it country. Just her voice is country. It really is. You gotta remember, she can do a lot of stuff and the essence of her voice has the twang and the pain. And it just sounds country.

Yes, sis! Again, clever. We got clever there. That’s where country comes in. Beautiful.

I like that one. I like that one so much, I can feel myself driving down a country road, windows down with that one. That one’s definitely a summer track. That “Giver / Taker,” it kind of sneaks up on you. I got a lump in my throat, because I remember what it felt like when you first started falling in love with somebody and you were like, “I wanna sop you up like gravy. I wanna sop you up with my biscuit. I’m gonna put my biscuit on you and I’m gonna sop you right up.

I am going to put you into a blender and drink you through a straw.” [Laughs]


That almost feels like horses running with that padding, [that] beat. Ooh, that’s nice. I like the soundscape on that end. And I also like that she’s having a nice vulnerable moment in the middle of the album. Because at the beginning we start out with like, you know, “I’m a big girl now,” but she’s also saying, “There’s some shit I gotta work on.”

“Maybe one day I’ll learn how to sway–” It reminds me of that Tanya Tucker “Strong Enough to Bend” kind of thing.

Can you ever just go with the flow? So she’s admitting, “Hey, I’ve gotten better, but I’m not all there.” And neither am I honestly, neither am I.

“Dinner with Friends”

I hope to god it’s not a song about what podcast they talked about. Hopefully dinner with friends is not, “Hey, how are you trying to optimize your life? What floor plan are y’all using?”

Dinner with my friends is just talking about Tim Curry and the Muppets, so…

[Kacey sings:] “Dinner with friends in cities where none of us live…”

Ooh! I cannot relate at all to this. [Laughs] But that sounds fabulous. I aspire to be the level of rich one day where I’m having dinner with my friends in cities that none of us live in.

[Kacey sings:] “The face somebody makes when you give ‘em a gift…”

Except for the Christmas that my mom bought my husband condoms – expired condoms at that. You should have seen my husband’s face that year. And then he said, “Don’t worry, we’ll put them to good use, Claudia.”

That was a great transition right there into that little chorus. Oh my Lord. You can just feel in that change, her being swept away, once again. You could be independent all day long, but then the right hottie comes along. Did I just write a song? [Laughs]

Yeah, somebody comes along with that body-ody-ody and sweeps you into a whole damn key change, sis.

[Kacey sings:] “Early in June, when the fireflies first start to glow, it never gets old…”

It don’t ever get old. Them lightning bugs, honey, the lightning bugs in June, there ain’t nothing like them. I’m ashamed to say we used to, I hate saying this – We used to pinch the little ends off of them and decorate our faces with them and say that we were, you know, wood nymph princesses.

It was real romantic at the time, now it’s just slaughter.

I love the whinin’ guitar that keeps weaving its way through here. It’s such a great motif, that ethereal cry out there. I love that.

“Heart of the Woods”

Ooh! I think we made it to Wonderland. We’re talking about the communication of trees, the secret life of trees under the ground. There’s a world that cannot be seen. And I think this might be a commentary on us finding out that trees communicate through their roots. They’re talking.

Now I’m anxious, all of a sudden, thinking about the trees talking, conspiring against us behind our backs.

I love the double vocal on so many of these tracks, because it does still hearken back to that canyon era, that Laurel Canyon, the folk singers of the ‘70s. But her voice always seems to bring an element of country to it. Always, her sound is so fresh and modern. I think it’s an interesting take. I like that. It’s kind of hippy-dippy, kind of flowy.

“Heart of the Woods” feels like it’s going on my playlist when I want to start a commune. You know, when I transition into my commune era – which is basically just when I have a kid and I don’t want to take care of it no more. I’m like, “Hey, y’all want to move out to the woods and help me with this shit?”

“Jade Green”

I like that mandolin.

Girl, I feel myself on a black stallion riding through the night. I feel myself topless, on a black stallion. That’s what I feel. And I feel like that moonlight’s just hitting me. It’s just like, my milky bosom through the night and like, maybe I have like a sheer cloth that’s just flowing behind me. [Laughs]

It’s got a real heartbeat to it. We need to put this behind a paywall!

I can really feel that being… that right there is a great drag performance. Somebody can have that.

“The Architect”

I like that this is that simple country songwriting format, so that the point is coming across. This song feels like kind of embracing the mystery. Did somebody do it? Was it here or is it part of some kind of design or not? I think a lot of us ask that question every day.

“Lonely Millionaire”

Sade? Sade? Where are you sis? Sade! I just got transported to a ‘90s Dillard’s. I would like those shoes in cream. Do you got a kitten heel?

That’s so sexy. I’m sending that to my husband right now. That one’s my favorite so far. Honestly. Because that shoots me back to “Lovers Rock,” that’s like a “Lovers Rock” tribute almost. Obviously she always puts her own spin on things, but she is an excellent curator of other pop moments.

“Heaven Is”

What is heaven?

[Kacey sings:] “We spent all day where the north wind blows / And you bought me a lavender rose / Put it in water when we got home / That’s what heaven is…”

This is your Ren Faire song. Honey, grab a turkey leg, because we’re going LARPing. We are LARPing, honey. You know, maybe I’m gonna go LARPing as Kacey at the Ren Faire this year. Grab you a turkey leg and a funnel cake, because we’re about to watch a joust and go make out behind the porta potties.

And, hey, that’s what heaven is to me. Who are you to judge me? Judge ye not. Lest ye be judged.

Listening to this song, I’m ready to give away all my rights and be burned at the stake.

I love that she goes for the romance. I feel like this album is one that you can play if you’re wanting to get hyped up or if you’re just wanting to toot around the house. It’s perfect. It’s perfect for all the occasions. It’s like my one cousin who was a carny that we know can swing both ways, if you know what I’m saying.

“Anime Eyes”

That got cute fast. I’m glad that I kind of get these references, because we just watched a Miyazaki film the other night. It does kind of bring in that sweet, magical element to it.

It’s cute, the song is cute, but also, it’s got a little bit of its own magic to it, too.

That got psychedelic plum quick. But I like it, I like [that] she leaned way into camp on that one.

I’m proud of you.

“Nothing to be Scared Of”

I feel like this puts a nice bow at the end, as the end track, because it’s sweet, we’ve got those tight harmonies returning. It’s the simple design. It’s the simple structure.

Basically, “I’ve got your back. I’ve got you on my mind. Don’t be afraid.” It’s like a peaceful entry to love and I think that that really fits with the whole vibe of the album, of, “I’m going to a mature place. I want to love the right way.”

Honey, I ain’t even been further west than Oklahoma, and this album takes me all the way to Laurel Canyon. I’m just driving through that canyon, got my top down, and I’m hoping not to get stabbed by the Manson family.

The album makes me want to start making dandelion tea. I’ve never thought about doing that in my whole life. But like, I could crush up some dandelions. This shit is bad for me, because I might start asking people for sourdough starters.

Sign up here to receive Good Country issues when they launch, direct to your email inbox via Substack.

Photo Credit: Kelly Christine Sutton

Suggested Reads

Sitewide Footer Banner

Deeper Well Deep Dive
Deeper Well Deep Dive