Pop Culture

Kacey Musgraves Roots Down and Lights Up, With a New Album and a Candle to Match

“It’s always exciting when you can feel the world kind of waking up again,” Kacey Musgraves says, with a cusp-of-spring weather report from Nashville. “The daffodils are starting to bloom by my house. I’m like, ‘Here we go. It’s almost here.’” 

A sense of anticipation runs twofold for the Grammy-decorated musician: Friday marks the arrival of Deeper Well, her sixth album, which both sees her relax into a newfound groundedness and threatens to knock it akilter. “I’m definitely savoring the last few moments of calm for a while,” she says. A show at the historic Ryman Auditorium is slated for release day. Tour dates in Europe pick up next month. The press machine churns. “I mean, it’s obvious that as you go into any launch period of anything, it’s going to be kind of balls to the wall,” she adds, ready for the grind. “But really, I’m a homebody by nature. I have loved just being by the fireplace and cuddling my dog and connecting with friends and cooking and sleeping in and, I don’t know, just taking care of myself.” 

Boy Smells x Kacey Musgraves

Deeper Well Scented Candle

Four years after the pandemic unleashed a monotony of self-care hashtags, the idea of well-being as muse is refreshingly matter-of-fact in Musgraves’s telling. “I’m gettin’ rid of the habits that I feel are real good at wastin’ my time,” she sings on the title track, calling out the gravity bong that, for a period, was a standard morning accompaniment. These days, the 35-year-old has a different fragrant pick-me-up: her second candle collaboration with Boy Smells, called Deeper Well. “It’s such a creative challenge to take a song from one dimension to another and let it have a life outside of just an audio track that you’re listening to,” Musgraves says. “I just really love thinking of creative experiences in a somatic way like that.” She describes how sound waves reverberate through bodies that are largely made of water, how different chords elicit corresponding emotional shifts. “Scent is definitely tied to memory, obviously, [as is] sound—so it’s fun to imagine, what would a song smell like?”

For Boy Smells cofounder Matthew Herman, the seeds of their partnership are rooted in music. “I’m from Austin—we’re both Texas girls,” he says in a video call from Los Angeles. He remembers watching the 2014 Grammys, where Musgraves dazzled the crowd in light-up boots; he later caught a New Year’s Eve show where she opened for Willie Nelson, and another at Marfa’s Trans-Pecos festival. As in all modern relationships, there was the requisite DM—Musgraves hitting up Boy Smells. “She was like, ‘Kush is my favorite fucking candle ever. I love you guys. That’s it. Bye!’” Herman recounts. “At that time, she was really smoking weed and [into] hallucinogenics and being a plant medicine pro,” he explains. Meanwhile, he found Musgraves’s values—“of relentless honesty and loving yourself and embracing who you are, and not holding to the expectations of the past and of the genre”—in sync with Boy Smells’ come-one-come-all ethos and expressive scents. Their first creation together wasn’t a Kush spinoff but rather Slow Burn, aptly named after a single on Musgraves’s fourth album, Golden Hour, with a smoky hit of incense, amber, and black pepper. The candle arrived in 2020, a month before lockdown sent the home-fragrance category skyrocketing. It sold out in a brisk 12 hours. 

If there’s a through line to their second collaboration, it stems from the “sort of zen-ness in both of the songs,” says Musgraves, “in that way of slowing down and making space for things that really matter.” She imagined the Deeper Well candle to smell like hugging someone familiar, with lingering traces of the outdoors. That translates to a blend of patchouli and oakmoss, mushroom and lavender. There’s a leathery quality from “tons of Iso E Super,” adds Herman, plus “just a tiny bit of gourmand-y yumminess” by way of raspberry and saffron. To him, it’s second skin meets woodland earth—in other words, quite a match for a homebody musician lately living a bucolic life alongside deer and wild turkeys.

Originally Published Here.

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