The last time we heard from Kacey Musgraves, she and Jewish king Troye Sivan were crooning their genuinely great duet “Glittery” together as part of the Golden Hour singer-songwriter’s charming holiday special last year, The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show. (Wisely, they reissued the song last month as a single.)
Troye’s since kept himself busy in These Uncertain Times™ with In a Dream, a short set of songs the 25-year-old star described upon its release back in August as “an emotional rollercoaster period in my life when the feelings and thoughts were most shockingly fresh.”
Basically, he was (is?) going through it. And honestly, who among us is not? Then again, it’s easy to spiral when Kylie Thee Minogue is out here covering your deep cuts out of nowhere.
Melancholy loves company, and Troye loves Kacey, and vice versa of course. As a result, the duo’s come back together again one year later, this time putting a new spin on Troye’s Oscar Görres-produced regret-filled breakup bop, “Easy.”
And they’re in good hands: none other than the “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” maestro Mark Ronson is behind the boards for additional production duties, adding an even more poignant and punchy ’80s element to the synth-y original.
Generally speaking, a feature doesn’t often do too much to change a track’s general quality. But in the case of this particular take on an already great song, the difference is substantial. The song is truly enhanced by Mark’s sublime production and the heavenly presence of Miss Musgraves. It’s sad banger bliss.
Kacey’s new verse strays from Troye’s original lyrics, as she tells her own side of the tale.
“I’m not a saint, so just give me the blame / I know what I want and it gets in my way / I know I’m not easy, darlin’ / When you see me out, I hope the taste in your mouth is still as sweet as I wish it could be / Believe me, darlin’,” she wistfully croons. (It’s worth noting for potential real life parallel-drawing purposes that Kacey announced she was getting a divorce in July. Interpret the lyrics and visuals as you will.)
“We knew what was under the surface / And lived like it wouldn’t hurt us, but it hurt us…”
That bridge? Their voices together? Like buttah. Beautiful, bitter buttah.
To further illustrate their depressed-on-the-dance-floor anthem, Kacey and Troye embark on a fuck-it-all romp through the seedier side of Nashville in the accompanying Bardia Zeinali-directed music video, shacking up at a cheap motel, line dancing with local drag queen Jorgeous, lap dancing at a dive bar and making some rather drastic hair choices. (Troye is fully feeling his mullet journey at the moment.)
“Kacey and I are sort of like runaways. We’ve separately had our own experiences…regrets, scorning our lovers…and we find solace in each other,” Troye told Vogue of the video’s concept.
The two generally seem numb to the world as they carry onward from adventure to adventure, driving aimlessly with nowhere in particular to be. And really, one can’t go wrong with a little pop star joyride moment: see Madonna and her Ol Kuntz Guest Home passenger in “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” and Lady Gaga and Beyoncé in “Telephone.”
There’s clearly plenty of action that led up to this moment that isn’t told on screen, which is probably why Troye’s been playfully (?) marketing the clip as a trailer for a should-be Netflix series. And really, it could be.
By the end, they’re already off to the next destination, as Troye stands up in a tunnel and supplies the full The Perks of Being a Wallflower fantasy while Kacey keeps them trucking in the driver’s seat. And in that moment, I swear, they were infinite.
In A Dream is out now as a limited LP.
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Read “Easy (Remix)” by Troye Sivan & Kacey Musgraves on Genius