The Best Tracks of 2018, #9

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9. Kacey Musgraves, “High Horse”

As good as Kacey Musgraves’ country music is – and she’s the best contemporary country artist today – she is always better when she’s sticking it to the perpetually rigid mainstream country scene. Whether singing about tolerance, doing cute weed-inspired duets with Willie Nelson, or simply being a strong woman singer-songwriter in a male-dominated genre, people notice when she challenges the status quo. That’s the big reason I didn’t rank her 2018 album Golden Hour as highly as other people have: it needed more moments like the glorious “High Horse”. A stupefyingly inspired marriage of country and Italo-disco, “High Horse” is part kiss-off song, part dance party song reminiscent of the Stones’ “Miss You”, and all awesomeness. This sound fits Musgraves so perfectly, that a full pop crossover wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen. Not by a long shot.