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10 Best Country, Americana Songs of the Week: Miranda Lambert, Nathaniel Rateliff

Lambert’s defiant “Keeper of the Flame,” Rateliff’s gritty “You Worry Me,” Gretchen Peters’ stunning “Disappearing Act” and more songs to hear now

Miranda Lambert, Nathaniel Rateliff

Songs by Miranda Lambert and Nathaniel Rateliff make up this week's must-hear tracks.

R. Diamond/Getty Images, Erika Goldring/Getty Images

A defiant anthem headed to country radio, a disco party off an eagerly awaited new album and a breezy island jam from a Nineties kingpin make up this week’s list of songs you need to hear right now.

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Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, “You Worry Me”

With Mumford & Sons no longer dominating the public eye, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats have moved in to quietly to claim the lead spot in Americana’s mainstream crossover. “You Worry Me,” from their new LP Tearing at the Seams, is holding strong in the Number One spot on both Billboard’s Triple A airplay and Americana singles charts – a pretty serious feat for a song that rests on a pulsing R&B beat and gritty soul instead of the soaring harmonies and aggressive kick drums that usually straddle genres. Maybe it’s the message: opening with Rateliff softly singing to himself, “I’m alright today,” it’s a reminder to stay sane in troubled times. M.M.  

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SmithField, “Hey Whiskey”

SmithField, the duo of Trey Smith and Jennifer Fiedler, take a new approach to a familiar topic: “Hey Whiskey” turns one of country music’s most prized motifs – the alcohol-soaked power ballad – onto its hungover head. Here, Fiedler talks directly to the vices that have turned her former flame into a drunk-dialing, unpredictable mess. “Why’s he only call me up when he throws you down?” she sings, while all the twangy tricks of the trade — crashing guitars, mournful pedal steel and stacked harmonies — swirl in the background. R.C.

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Kacey Musgraves, “High Horse”

It goes without saying that Kacey Musgraves’ forthcoming album Golden Hour is one of the year’s most anticipated releases, but on “High Horse” she reminds us all why, just in case. A sparkling slice of country disco, “High Horse” owes as much to the Bee Gees as it does the rodeo. With a four-on-the-floor beat, percussive acoustic guitar, and throbbing bass, the track is dance-club ready and may challenge some fans’ notions of what sounds can work in a country setting. That is, of course, assuming they can stop singing along long enough to spit out an argument. B.M.

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Jason Aldean, “Rearview Town”

Jason Aldean is packing up and heading out, bound for somewhere – anywhere, really – that’s different than the trampled turf of his old stomping grounds. Musically, though, this is Mr. Hicktown as we’ve always known him, working post-grunge guitar tones and programmed snare hits into his urbanized country sound. The title track from Aldean’s eighth LP, “Rearview Town” paves the way for a full-length album release next month. R.C. 

Escondido

Courtesy of Think Press

Escondido, “You’re Not Like Anybody Else”

Duo Escondido comprises longtime Nashville favorites Tyler James and Jessica Maros. As the two get ready to release their new album Warning Bells, they’ve also shared a new tune, “You’re Not Like Anybody Else.” The bittersweet song looks at the painful complications wrought by unrequited love, and does so with a melody so sweet that being a jilted lover doesn’t sound so bad after all. B.M.

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