Although she had been recording since 2002, she did not get her breakout until she appeared on Josh Abbott Band's 2011 single "Oh, Tonight". After that, she signed with Mercury and released her album Same Trailer Different Park, which has produced three country singles: "Merry Go 'Round", "Blowin' Smoke", and "Follow Your Arrow". She also co-wrote and sang backing vocals on Miranda Lambert's "Mama's Broken Heart", and has written songs for the Nashville soundtrack. In 2014, she won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song ("Merry Go 'Round") and Best Country Album for Same Trailer Different Park. Her second album, Pageant Material, was released in 2015. Her third album, Golden Hour, was released in 2018 to great critical success. It won her the 2019 Grammy for Best Album (along with three other awards). Making her the first country artist to win the top prize of the night since Taylor Swift won for Fearless in 2010.
- Same Trailer Different Park (2013)
- Pageant Material (2015)
- A Very Kacey Christmas (2016)
- Golden Hour (2018)
- Album Title Drop: Same Trailer Different Park is name-dropped in the first single "Merry Go 'Round".
- Be Yourself:
Make lots of noise
- The moral of "Follow Your Arrow":
Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that's something you're into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up a joint, or don't
Just follow your arrow
Wherever it points, yeah
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points
I'd rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain't.
- Also, "Pageant Material:"
- Bowdlerize: "Follow Your Arrow" censors the line "Roll up a joint, or don't" in the chorus.
- Christmas Songs: Her 2016 album A Very Kacey Christmas.
- Darker and Edgier: Her music, in general, is quite edgy compared to most other country music. See the lyrics for "Follow Your Arrow" for details - MANY people in the notoriously conservative country music community wanted her burned at stake for writing such a blatantly liberal song.
- Deconstruction: "Merry-Go-Round" is a deconstruction of the myriad country songs celebrating small town life.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before her debut single, she sang guest vocals on "Oh, Tonight" by Josh Abbott Band.
- Ethical Slut: "Follow Your Arrow", see above.
- Everything Is an Instrument: "Biscuits" appropriately has the drummer playing a biscuit pan.
- Gay Aesop: "Follow Your Arrow", again; see above. (Cowriters Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark are both gay.)
- Going Commando: She admitted that she performed this way at the 2014 Country Music Association awards because they fell off and wouldn't stay on.
- Ironic Nursery Tune: In "Merry Go Round":Jack and Jill went up the hill
Jack burned out on booze and pills
Mary had a little lamb
Mary just don't give a damn no more.
- Last-Second Word Swap: "Follow Your Arrow" is somewhere between this, Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion, and Midword Rhyme:If you save yourself for marriage, you're a boreIf you don't save yourself for marriage you're a hor...rible person
- Misery Builds Character: "Silver Lining" has this as a theme:If you're ever gonna find a silver lining, it's gotta be a cloudy day, it's gotta be a cloudy day.If you wanna fill your bottle up with lightning, you're gonna have to stand in the rain, you're gonna have to stand in the rain.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Miserable" is one of these, directed at someone who simply refuses to be happy, no matter what happens.
- Re-release the Song: After "Dime Store Cowgirl" failed to crack the airplay charts, it was sent to radio a second time... and failed to chart again.
- The Runner-Up Takes It All: She placed seventh on the fifth season of Nashville Star, but fared much better than that season's winner Angela Hacker, who put out only one album full of demos and was never heard from again.
- Signature Style: Her production is usually very light and loose with lots of acoustic guitar, and her lyrics oftten introspective and deep yet still displaying a fun and playfulness to them.
- Silly Love Songs: "Butterflies," "Love is a Wild Thing," "Velvet Elvis," and "Golden Hour" off Golden Hour, no doubt inspired by Kacey's then-recent marriage.
- Status Quo Is God: "Merry Go 'Round" mixes this with Small Town Boredom, while "Blowin' Smoke" is about a group of waitresses who want to quit their job and go off to bigger and better things, but they're just "blowin' smoke".
- Take That!: "Good Ol' Boys Club" is a take-that against the tight corporate mentality of Nashville, including the line "another gear in a big machine", an obvious jab at Big Machine Records, a large independent country music label.
- Wanderlust Song: "My House" is about life in an RV, traveling from campsite to campsite.