Kacey Musgraves’ next album, due out later this year, will be jointly released via Interscope Records and UMG Nashville. The partnership will find the labels collaborating on marketing, radio promotion and international marketing for the six-time Grammy winner’s new music.
Musgraves’ most recent album, “Golden Hour,” released in 2018 via MCA Nashville, won four Grammy Awards, including album of the year, and landed her on most major critics’ consensus 10-best lists for the year. The album’s expansive sound substantially broadened her appeal across genres — resulting, in 2019, in Musgraves being the first woman to play both, the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals on successive weekends — while her core country music support remained firm, as “Golden Hour” also picked up album of the year honors at the CMA Awards and ACM Awards.
Signed by the venerable Luke Lewis, she released her debut, “Same Trailer Different Park,” in 2013; by the time her second album, “Pageant Material,” came out in 2015, she was well established as a concert headliner. Both opened at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and garnered raves from critics.
“Kacey is one of the most powerful storytellers in music today, a true albums artist who creates potent song collections that are timeless,” said Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) chairman and CEO John Janick in announcing the alignment. “We are truly delighted to have her as part of our Interscope Records family and look forward to working alongside the UMG Nashville team and her manager Jason Owen to deliver this important project to audiences around the world.”
Added IGA vice chairman Steve Berman: “Kacey’s unique approach to making music and her overall boundless creative presentation is innovative and absolutely exciting. We are so happy to welcome her into our Interscope family.”
According to people with knowledge of the deal, the partnership is geared at expanding Musgraves’ reach as an international artist and leveraging IGA’s global presence to help achieve that goal. The appeal to Musgraves’ management team, led by Sandbox Entertainment’s Owen, was in IGA’s reputation for launching a record or project. Also, Owen and Janick have long wanted to work together.
“I have never worked with anyone whose cultural reach is so vast,” offered UMG Nashville chairman and CEO Mike Dungan. “This artist and her music have thrived in so many diverse environments. Kacey, the music and the career deserve the broadest base of experience and expertise. We have discussed some type of cross-label partnership for her music for a couple of years now, and this is the perfect fit. We’re excited to partner with our friends at Interscope on the next chapter of Kacey Musgraves.”
“Kacey’s music has never had boundaries,” said UMG Nashville president Cindy Mabe. “Her clever songwriting, adept storytelling, vulnerable and real emotional delivery, and her overall ‘take me or leave me’ spirit have translated through genre, time, space and culture. She simply connects. As we begin to set up her new music, it made sense to once again push the boundaries to reach more fans around the world as we continue to serve the fans who have been here from the beginning.”
No details have been officially announced about the new album, but in a recent Rolling Stone cover story documenting the early stages of making the record, she did drop a few bread crumbs. That article revealed that Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, co-producers of “Golden Hour,” are back for the new project, which could augur a return to what she described as the “galactic country” of the last award-winner. Describing the stylistic variations on the new album, she told the magazine, “Looking at the list of songs, we have some that venture into, like, a Bill Withers land. We’ve got that synth stuff that we always loved. And we’ve got some Eagles or America territory. There’s a little bit of a dance vibe.”
In 2019, Musgraves appeared on the cover of Variety and was honored at a luncheon in New York as part of the publication’s annual Power of Women salute. The most recent project prior to the pandemic for the singer-songwriter and fashion icon was an Amazon Prime special, “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show.” She was joined by one-time tour mate Harry Styles for a surprise appearance of “Space Cowboy” as her touring behind “Golden Hour” came to a close at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena in November 2019.