Tomorrow, September 10, will mark the one-year anniversary of Kacey Musgraves’ celebrated star-crossed, and to celebrate the anniversary she has unveiled a 14-and-a-half-minute documentary about the making of the record.
It’s been an exciting 2022 for Kacey. She was included on TIME’s Women of the Year list, which honored 12 leaders helping to create a more equal world.
Musgraves performed at TIME’s invitation-only Women of the Year gala in Los Angeles on International Women’s Day, March 8. The event also included Women of the Year honorees Tracy Chou, Allyson Felix, Amanda Gorman, Sherrilyn Ifill, Jennie Joseph, Amanda Nguyen, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez and Kerry Washington. Additional honorees highlighted in the TIME Women of the Year list include Amal Clooney, Adena Friedman, and Zahra Joya.
“I have been told ‘no’ a lot in terms of something that I would want to take a creative risk on,” Musgraves told TIME. “I decided I’d rather go down in flames for something I really believe in than present a watered-down version of myself that may make me more money. You have to fight that until you can get to a place where you can have total creative freedom, and I’m getting there.”
The album was celebrated by fans and critics alike when it was released. The Guardian’s Laura Snapes wrote, “If there’s a fresh direction here, it’s to more straightforwardly poppy songs that make a virtue of Musgraves’ sweet melodic tendencies.” The Line of Best Fit describes it enthusiastically as “a record that has surpassed all of the greatness her previous efforts entailed.” Slant, meanwhile, says that the follow-up to 2018’s Golden Hour is “just as effortlessly melodic and accessible. But it’s also more eclectic, far afield of modern radio tropes, either of the pop or country varieties.”
Musgraves, who won the 2019 Album of the Year GRAMMY for Golden Hour, tapped into the sorrow and trauma of her divorce and found the process of writing about it cathartic. “The word tragedy just popped into my mind. And I was like, ‘Whoa, what if the album was formulated like a modern Shakespearean or Greek tragedy?’”, she said in a profile with Elle Magazine. “At the time, I didn’t quite understand it. It’s still pretty heady, the ‘old English’ and all that. But it’s themes that we’re still familiar with today. They’re just wrapped up in a different way. Those things will carry on forever, as long as humans are living, breathing, crying, loving, dying, fighting, all of that.”