After months of speculation, Kacey Musgraves has officially announced that her fourth studio album, star-crossed, will arrive on Sept. 10, along with a companion film. Musgraves described the 15-song album on social media as “A modern tragedy told in three acts,” a setup she previously revealed in multiple interviews.
During a conversation with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the Texas native explained that she was inspired by the concept of a Greek tragedy and knew that she wanted to use the format to inspire her new record. “It’s the most popular art form across time and I think it always will be,” she said. “And yeah, it was like, ‘Man, tragedy, it’s a modern tragedy in three acts.'” The 33-year-old added that to her, the definition of “star-crossed” is “to be f—ed by love or luck. You’re ill-fated, it’s just not written in the stars. It is not for you.”
A trailer for the album’s film, which stars Musgraves, is backed by the album’s title track, which was released on Monday. The 50-minute film will be available exclusively on Paramount+ and also features guests including Eugene Levy, drag queen Symone, singer Princess Nokia, actress Victoria Pedretti and comedian Meg Stalter.
star-crossed will be the follow-up to Musgraves’ 2018 album Golden Hour, which was widely acclaimed and won numerous awards, including the Grammy for Album of the Year. “I feel this record couldn’t be more literal in some ways,” Musgraves said of star-crossed. “But I also feel it’s got this theatrical kind of almost fantasy take on- I wanted there to be that, just kind of that classical story. That classical vibe, kind of woven through all these other modern sounds. Which I always love when something classic or something traditional, something futuristic kind of meet. I just, I’m always intrigued by that. Whether it’s in fashion, etc.”
“I think that there are certain aspects of this record that sound a little bit more country, I guess than Golden Hour. I don’t know,” she continued. “But at the same time, I feel like I’m tapping into more influences on this, widespread influences on this album. I don’t know, there are some moments that kind of bring it back to that, where you can see kind of the relation to my previous music.”
Golden Hour was born out of the singer’s love story with her ex-husband Ruston Kelly, and Musgraves noted during her conversation with Lowe that it would be disingenuous of her to ignore the fact that her marriage has ended in her music. “everyone puts out their highlight reel, nobody’s putting out their f— ups. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s daunting,” she said. “I’m excited to share star-crossed just because people know me to be a songwriter that writes about what I’m going through. And I think it would have been extremely awkward if I just acted this last chapter didn’t happen for me. So I think you saw my highlight reel with Golden Hour and this is the other side of that. And I mean there are beautiful parts of that too.”