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Kacey Musgraves
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Kacey Musgraves | A Psilocybin Mushroom Trip Transformed Her Trauma Into A New Album

From the moment Kacey Musgraves began making major waves in the country music scene, one thing has been glaringly obvious – she’s far from your typical country darling.

In a sea of arguably ‘cliched’ songs about trucks, beer and scorned ex-lovers, the singer-songwriter has transcended the genre onto a whole new level. 

With creative, relevant and deeply personal songs, this Nashville-based artist twists the classic country style by writing hard-hitting modern lyrics. 

Although she’s often called an “outlaw” or a “rebel,” she rejects labels, simply saying that she writes songs about “real s**t.”

As the Independent noted in a 2019 feature, Musgraves covers topics most of her peers wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. Her topics of choice focus on cannabis, the LGBTQ+ community, toxic masculinity, casual sex, stronghold of religion, slut-shaming and more. 

Kacey Musgraves hasn’t been shy about her drug use. Her penchant for illicit substances goes beyond cannabis. In fact, the star actually uses LSD to aid her with her writing process.

Musgraves claimed that this helped inspire her to write her shortest song, on her Grammy-winning breakthrough album Golden Hour.

The artist even took to Instagram back in 2018 to reveal that her song “Mother” was written while she was tripping on acid.

Let’s not forget about her jolly Christmas album, “A Very Kacey Christmas”, which featured one of her song lyrics to be about leaving hash cookies out for Santa and the necessity to remain “high as the angel on top of the tree.”

“I’m a firm believer that what you do with your body is your own choice, and legally that covers a lot of ground,” the singer told Billboard, adding that she first tried mushrooms at age 21 or 22 and found it a “profound experience.” 

Musgraves also said it made her more environmentally conscious in the moment. 

“Whenever you are affected by hallucinogenics, especially mushrooms, you care for the Earth. When you’re, like, tripping, it just floods out.”

Kacey Musgraves

This year, however, the singer-songwriter went into a completely new direction for her latest album but reached for her mushrooms once again.

During an interview with Elle, the 32-year-old Grammy winner opened up about feeling like she was “dying inside” before her divorce from Ruston Kelly in 2020. This came after three years of marriage.

So Musgraves embarked on what seemed a fairly radical solution, both to the emotional fallout from her divorce – the need, as she puts it, “to transform my trauma and my pain into something else” – and her creative issues: she had a seven-hour, therapeutic-guided psilocybin mushroom trip.

In the United States, magic mushrooms are still illegal in all 50 states. Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California have both signed legislation to decriminalise magic mushrooms, opening the door for researchers to explore potential medical benefits. 

On November 3rd, 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psychedelic mushrooms.

“I did it with a doctor friend. It’s called plant therapy. It’s been looked at in a lot of areas for help with depression, anxiety, addiction, so many things.”

Kacey Musgraves

On 10 September 2021, Musgraves released her fourth studio album, “Star-Crossed,” as well as a short feature film that aired alongside it. This was in collaboration with Paramount.

The 50-minute film is directed by Bardia Zeinali and stars Musgraves, with cameos from Eugene Levy, Princess Nokia, Victoria Pedretti, comedian Meg Stalter, Drag Race winner Symone and others. 

The trailer features Musgraves in a wedding dress, having surgery performed on her and attacking crockery with a ninja sword and battalions of identical-looking Stepford Wives and drag queens. It looks nuts, but she was: “letting my creative gut guide me”. 

Feast your eyes on the teaser, which is already out on her YouTube channel.

New York Times described it as a chronicle of her marriage’s collapse, delivered with lightly adventurous production and lighter regret.

Essentially “Star-Crossed” is Musgraves’ divorce album, a song cycle about how a relationship deteriorates: not all at once, or in huge shards, but over time. It’s full of small memories, good and bad, rendered largely without judgment.

“I wasn’t going to be a real country artist without at least one divorce under my belt.”

Kacey Musgraves

Being a young woman in country music in this day and age means that, at some point, you arguably will be compared to Taylor Swift. But she has managed to largely avoid these types of comparisons through her success.

Since bursting onto the scene in 2013, Kacey Musgraves has excelled in the country music industry with her impeccable songwriting ability and refusal to conform. 

She may be one of music’s brightest stars but she was far from an overnight success.

Her grandmother was one of the most instrumental figures in her life that helped to cultivate her career in country music.

In an interview with CMT News, she spoke highly of her: “my Grandma was my first booking agent. She was ready with a press kit on her person at all times and would sling it to anyone who would care to hear. And even if they didn’t care to hear, she was going to give it to you”. 

Three of her self-released solo albums made it to the top of the tracks.

She has won six Grammy Awards (including Album of the Year in 2018), seven Country Music Association Awards, and three Academy of Country Music Awards. 

Even though her fourth album got a bit of widespread criticism due to its content, the star still bagged all four Grammy Award categories last year. 

Overall the Golden, Texas Queen- Kacey Musgraves has definitely made a name for herself by staying true to her edgier songwriting style. Even if that meant getting help from a little ‘outside resource’.

For a full experience of heartbreak, sorrow and a little bit of relaxing country Zen, sit back, relax and listen to Musgraves new album.

SEE MORE: FOLKLORE & THE NASHVILLE SOUND: COMEBACK & TRANSFORMATION.