Kacey Musgraves has made a name for herself in the music world by leaning into her own style and tossing critics to the side. The genre-bending artist isn't afraid to take on heavy-hitting topics, nor is she one to shy away from letting fans into her personal life.
Part of what further separates Musgraves from the crowd are her meticulously thought-out music videos. Her library of short films serves not only as a creative outlet but often offer a commentary on societal stereotypes and norms ("High Horse") or serve as an intimate window into her personal life ("Space Cowboy"). As the Texas native's video budget has clearly risen alongside her career trajectory, Musgraves has worked hard to maintain that meticulous attention to detail.
How do your favorite videos from Musgraves stack up against our choices? Scroll through the list below and let us know what we missed!
In "Blowin' Smoke," Musgraves shows she knows what it's like to be working for a paycheck and trying to make ends meet. The video features the now country music star serving up plates as a waitress in a local diner. Throughout the video, Musgraves and her coworkers deal with a little bit of everything, from lunch rushes to dine-and-dashers. Towards the end, we see her lead the diner team out the back and toss guest checks into the wind — but this act of defiance doesn't last.
"What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?"
In "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" Musgraves leans into classic style with a vintage-inspired set design, including a giant crescent moon. As the oversized clock behind her clicks closer and closer to midnight, we see the singer perched atop the aforementioned glittering crescent moon swinging in the air. Pretty soon, the hour and minute hands overlap, and the country music singer is showered in confetti while others join her on stage.
Musgraves' "Merry Go' Round" is a more subdued video that features vintage clips of young families navigating life in decades past. The clips show renderings of buildings that would become suburban strongholds, women flaunting their beauty for the camera, theme parks of yesteryear, and kids playing schoolyard games. Musgraves is also featured throughout the video, appearing in a recording studio, doing her makeup, and spending time with a four-legged friend.
While one of her lesser-known songs, we couldn't leave this Musgraves' video with Willie Nelson off the list! The simple yet warm and engaging clip opens up with Musgraves sitting pretty at a desolate bar. Moments later, the camera pans over to show Nelson bellied up to the same bar. After sipping on something strong, the two casually mosey over to a stage in the corner of the establishment to exchange verses and throw back a pair of shots.
If you're searching for "classic Kacey Musgraves camp," look no further than her video for "Follow Your Arrow." Things get off to a literal start right away as she walks into the frame and pulls out an arrow lodged in a dirt road. As the video progresses, we see Musgraves and her well-dressed band exploring the desert and a surrounding town. The arrow imagery is laid thick throughout the upbeat track that preaches forging your own path regardless of what others may think. Just like with her "Biscuits" video, the fashion choices showcased throughout — specifically the dance number — are perfectly kitschy.
Musgraves artfully examines a challenging relationship in "Space Cowboy." For this emotionally-charged music video, Musgraves strolls around a dimly-lit house before taking a seat at a candlelit table. Soon after, her fictional partner shows up, and the two get into a heated argument. Instead of running after her one-time love, Musgraves chooses to sit back and let him walk away. Always one for symbolism, she closes the video with a warm, engaging shot of a butterfly finding its strength and flying away.
Musgraves delivered a thing of millennial dreams with the music video for "Simple Times." Things start off pretty peachy as Musgraves strolls through a stereotypical mall with her friends. Things turn sinister when the group decides to change into all-white ensembles and descend upon a bridal boutique. With some medieval-looking weapons in hand, the ladies let loose, attacking every dress in sight. While a bride-to-be and her family take cover, the ladies confidently destroy anything they can get their hands on. Just as quickly as they arrived, the well-dressed women finally leave — but not before taking some loot.
"Breadwinner" makes the list of top Musgraves videos because it serves as a window into the singer's life as she was working on and promoting her 2021 album, Star-Crossed. In this "very unofficial video," Musgraves kicks things off by instructing the person behind the camera to start rolling. Viewers are shown clips filmed on set for other videos, including "Simple Times," "Camera Roll" and more. The video is a different take on Musgraves' other releases that often feature complex storylines and characters.
"High Horse" served as a gateway drug for many newer Musgraves fans, partly due to the stellar music video. Always one to push back against things that don't seem right, Musgraves plays the role of a secretary dealing with some not-so-great bosses in the 1970s. The attention to detail in the just over four-minute video is second to none, just like Musgraves' reaction to being hit on by one of her sleazy boss-men. Shots of Musgraves in the stuffy office are supplemented with high-energy clips like a karaoke scene with all her ladies. She closes out the video by literally taking the high road she's been singing about atop a white horse.
Musgraves' love for theatrics motivates her set designs, artwork and fashion choices — and that passion is fully displayed in her music video for "Biscuits." Throughout the clip, we see Musgraves play the part of a few different characters, including a mustache-clad farmer, a butter-churning maven and a square-dancing beauty. Not one to let the action fizzle out, Musgraves includes a sing-along towards the end of the video, complete with a bouncing biscuit as the word marker. The eclectic clip has a lot going on, but all the elements — even the purple fiddle-playing puppet — blend perfectly to create a world imagined by the country singer.