I’m no theologian, but it seems to me the title character of Kacey Musgraves’s “The Architect” is probably God… The name Architect is not too far off from Creator.

This song approaches the world as a work of art, and reaches out for the artist’s hand.

Musgraves hides complexity in simple questions. She begins with an apple. Its “perfect design” is what prompts her first request to “speak to the architect.” She calls it “sweet and divine,” linking it with God and placing it in her mouth – to know that it’s sweet, she must have tasted it.

This gets interesting when we remember that the forbidden fruit of Eden is often depicted as an apple. This casts Musgraves in the role of Eve. In Genesis, eating the apple exiles Eve and Adam from the place where they had direct communication with God. In this song, the sweetness of an earthly apple is what prompts Musgraves to call out to the divine.

Another biblical story gets turned inside out in the second verse.

“There’s a canyon that cuts through the desert,” Musgraves reports, and wonders, “Did it get there because of a flood?” Already having Genesis in mind, we may suppose the flood she’s talking about is the one of which Noah and his family were the sole survivors. The image of the canyon resembles a wound; it “cuts” the landscape. But Musgraves encounters it as a work of art. What she wants to know is, “Was it devised, or were you surprised / When you saw how grand it was?”

Supposing that the Grand Canyon is a fingerprint of the deluge, Musgraves wonders if God knew the beauty that would be created by this destructive act. Either answer to her question paints God as essentially creative, even in apocalyptic moods. If tracing out the Grand Canyon was a planned result of the flood, it suggests that God was thinking, even at His most wrathful, about a future in which someone would be there to experience the beauty of the world. Alternatively, if even God was surprised by how well it turned out, it suggests that God can’t help but create, even when meaning to destroy.

Musgraves’s appeal “Can I speak to the architect?” is a humorously modern way of putting the question – it sounds like she’s asking to talk to your manager. But taking the question seriously figures this song as a form of prayer. She directly addresses “the architect” in her lyrics.

With this refrain, she seems to wonder if she’s getting through.

Like the apple, the instrumentation in this song is both simple and complex. Acoustic guitar and piano form the foundation of this song, but their parts are layered, varied, and panned such that the song feels dynamic and driving even without drums.

Musgraves’s ends the song by questioning her whole premise: “Is there an architect?” It’s a jarring turn; it breaks the lyrical pattern she’s been following, and it alters the basic assumptions of the song at the last minute. Musgraves also drops the question and then ends the song. This struck me at first as a way of shirking the question, but you could see it as giving the question to the reader.

At the last minute, Musgraves turns to us and asks what we think.