The video accompanying the remix of “Easy,” a blend of lead artist Troye Sivan with Kacey Musgraves and Mark Ronson, gave us two things we were unaware we needed in 2020: Musgraves on a disco-centric pop bop and Sivan with a mullet. Nothing to complain about here, though, as the duo embarks on a visual journey complete with muted tones, thrifted fashion, a dazzling moment with drag queen Jorgeous and a somehow nostalgic neon aesthetic that brings some vibrance to an otherwise bittersweet lyrical message.
“Easy” marks the second time Musgraves and Sivan have worked together, first finding musical companionship on the holiday track, “Glittery.” The remix of Sivan’s single, though, adds Ronson’s production expertise, giving the song a newfound retro feel that creates the central divergence from the original version of the song (aside from Musgraves’s vocal typically lent to country tunes).
Lyrically, the song shares the same story of a bitter end to a once-sweet love, with Sivan entering the track by singing, “You ran away to find something to say / I went astray to make it okay / And he made it easy, darlin.'” And if Sivan opens the story of “Easy” by admitting a mistake was made, Musgraves’s verse takes ownership of it all as she sings, “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.'”
The song’s message is perhaps best summated in the bridge of the track, finding acceptance within the impending doom of a relationship meant to end: “We knew what was under the surface / And lived like it wouldn’t hurt us / But it hurt us.” It certainly stings, but more than that, it speaks to the strength in storytelling presented in tandem by OzGo, Musgraves, and Sivan. Together with Ronson’s sound, the song sprints to listeners’ heartstrings in a song that seems designed to cry and dance to — perhaps at the same time.
“Easy” might begin the narrative of the severance of a relationship, but its visual provides a glimpse into the aftermath (and all the adrenaline-filled confidence that comes with it). Vivid imagery of Musgraves and Sivan losing themselves in the lights of a dive bar and finding solace in strangers and new hair-dos feels reminiscent of a “new me” mentality post-relationship, and the video’s final shot of a seemingly aimless drive doesn’t fall far from reality.
The remix boasts a fascinating blend of genres with a result that sets the stage for what we can only hope to be the year of crossovers. If country, pop, and disco walk into a bar to develop the soundtrack of 2021, “Easy” might just be the best introduction.