Kacey Musgraves’ Epic Divorce Album Has Us In Tears, Plus 2 Other Powerful Female Artists You Should Be Listening To
“Here I am listening to it and repeatedly crying because that's just the way that we're living these days.”
On today's episode of
BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed the three new albums you need to listen to this fall. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!
So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to
Elamin Abdelmahmoud about the music he's playing on loop. Here's some of what we learned:
BuzzFeed Daily: So today we wanted to open up the floor to you and ask you what you're listening to. And I want to start with...
Star-Crossed, which is Kacey Musgraves' new album. Did you expect to love it this much?
Elamin Abdelmahmoud: No, not at all. But here I am listening to it and repeatedly crying because that's just the way that we're living these days. It's a beautiful record. It is a divorce record, which is not what a lot of people expected from Kacey, but that's where her personal life has been for the past couple of years. And she made a gorgeous record about that. But that's a significant relationship ending. And now we get listen to it and cry through some of it.
The whole record doesn't work. Some parts do, really effectively. Songs like "Justified," songs like the opener "Star-Crossed" just set the tone for you being in this emotional landscape that's just barren and hard and you're going to cry a lot. And then you hear songs like "Good Wife," and she's struggling with the idea of what it means for her to be a good wife. And then we move on to songs like "Breadwinner" when she's like — it's actually kind of a sneaky song that says ,"You might run into guys who say they're kind of comfortable with you being the breadwinner. But at the end of the day, they might not be so comfortable" — like there's a lot going on this record. And she kind of laid it out all out there, which is just stunning.
BuzzFeed Daily: ou said it was this album is about her divorce from her husband, Ruston Kelly, who is also a country music artist. So does it feel like a divorce album when you're listening to it?
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EA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Not to be rude to Kacey, but I'm not trying to listen to this music in the spring. It makes a lot of sense to release this in the fall. This is a fall record. This is a winter record. This is a meditative record where you walk around and it's a little bit cold outside and you're like, "Yeah, life does suck. And I do have feelings." And she's so good at sort of crafting this specific landscape here.
BuzzFeed News: Now let's talk about someone else who is bringing something new to the country music scene. And that's Yola and her album
Stand for Myself.
EA: I've been trying to preach the gospel of Yola for some time. I'm a big fan. She is a British woman who does a sort of variation of, I would say, country/soul. She's like if Aretha mostly spent her time doing country — that's how I would describe her sound. She's incredible. And with this album, it's actually a little bit closer. I think I would say to soul and big pop standards than it is to country. But again, that country construction is there. The songwriting is sort of similar themes, similar sort of paying attention to the history of country music in that way. Yola's amazing. She's got a huge voice. I've had to see her a couple of times live and she's just like will blow you away. She's amazing.
BuzzFeed Daily: Most musical artists tend to break into the industry at a younger age, but Yola actually just turned 38, which honestly I love. She's been working on her music her entire life, but this is only her second full-length album. Do you feel like that extra level of maturity adds something to her music?
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EA: 100% percent. I feel like if we came to know you as an artist in your teens and early 20s, that creates a very intimate relationship because you're kind of growing up in front of our eyes. But conversely, if you have had time to just kind of go away and not be in the spotlight as you develop your sound and kind of hone what you want to say, I think we meet you at a more mature place.
And it's just really compelling to me to listen to artists who kind of break later in their career, whether it's later albums — which we'll talk about with Little Simz in a minute — or in the case of Yola, just a later age.
BuzzFeed Daily: You mentioned Little Simz, so I want to pivot to her and her album,
Sometimes I Might Be an Introvert. Now, a lot of rap and hip-hop in 2021 has been defined by artists who aren't afraid to get personal or vulnerable in their music. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and even Kanye regularly write music about what makes them sad. So, why do you think the shift is happening in general?
EA: I think we just expect more from artists, in terms of trying to greet us at a more emotional place. We are having an emotional moment in pop music. One hates to credit our good man — our good Canadian man — Drake, with a lot of this. But I do think that he's actually responsible for a bit of an aesthetic shift in pop, which is just how emotional you're allowed be while still dominating the charts, just in the last, let's say, decade or so. That's still significant to me.
But then you get to someone like Little Simz, who knows herself so well — you have to know yourself so well in order to make an album like this one. And it's just compelling to listen to somebody who can take you through their mind, could take you through the ways that they're introverted.
BuzzFeed Daily: Little Sims is already getting a ton of critical acclaim for this album. She's been praised by artists like Kendrick Lamar and Ms. Lauryn Hill, which is cementing her reputation as one of modern hip-hop's greatest talents. But when an artist puts out something as critically successful as this album, they usually feel a lot of pressure to create something even better for their next project. How do you feel about that?
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EA: Something compelling to me about Little Simz — and same thing with Yola — is this isn't even her first record. It isn't even her second. I think it's her fourth. She's been around for a while and these are four albums, but also she's dropped, I think, five or six mix tapes in between, including an incredible mixtape just last year.
So we're again meeting an artist, not in a moment of "I'm young and I have this breakthrough. And then that record company is trying to figure out how to make money out of me." She knows who she is. She knows what she's going for. When you listen to that album, there isn't a horn out of place. There isn't a drumbeat out of place. It's it sounds very intentional, very meticulous in the way that it was crafted. And so that makes me not worry about artists like that. It makes me go "I think you'll be fine." It doesn't actually matter how much attention this thing gets, you're not going to fall into the trap of trying to recreate it because you're. Honoring where you are on your fourth album. We'll see where the first one goes.
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Many of his costars posted tributes to Willie, including Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis — who applauded his quote “fearless commitment to single fatherhood” — and Cynthia Nixon, who wrote: “He was endlessly funny on screen and in real life. He was a source of light, friendship and show business lore. He was a consummate professional — always.”
White Collar costar Matt Bomer also shared a message about his friend, calling him quote “someone who lifted me up, who made me better, and who always, always made me smile.”
Kevin Winter / Getty Images
In it, Uma reveals that she had an abortion as a teen, saying quote “It has been my darkest secret until now. I am 51 years old, and I am sharing it with you from the home where I have raised my three children, who are my pride and joy.”
She went on to call the law quote “yet another discriminatory tool against those who are economically disadvantaged” and that “women and children of wealthy families retain all the choices in the world, and face little risk."
Uma also made a point to mention those who will be preyed on by “vigilantes” who will take advantage of the fact that they can sue providers and anyone involved in carrying out an abortions.
As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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