Texas singer brings cosmic comfort

Kacey Musgraves' 2018 album, Golden Hour, hasn't sold more copies than the Texas songwriter's previous records, but it undoubtedly broadened her fan base by exploring new “cosmic country” territory.

Indeed, much has been made of Musgrave's disco turn on “High Horse” and the prominent, auto-tuned vocals on “Oh, What a World” — production flourishes that bear little resemblance to modern-day, mainstream country (or classic country, for that matter). And while those creative choices add interest and mood to Golden Hour, they're not what make this album so special. That's all due to Musgrave's songwriting and her effortlessly strong, sweet-but-never-saccharine voice.

On closing track “Rainbow,” a song Musgraves wrote for her grandmother and later performed at her funeral, Musgraves is accompanied only by piano as she paints a colorful reminder that things are rarely as bad as they seem. “It's hard to breathe when all you know is the struggle of stayin' above the risin' water line,” she sings. And yet at some point the rain stops, and all you have to do is open your eyes, let go of your umbrella and take a look around. “There's always been a rainbow hangin' over your head,” she sings.

As the song wraps up, Musgraves drives the point home once more, delivering one last shoulder squeeze in its simplest, most hopeful form: “It'll all be all right.” (Don't miss it)