Miranda Lambert will release her latest single, and the 4th from her current album The Weight of These Wings when “Keeper of the Flame” gets shipped to radio April 11th. Likely targeted for a single from the album originally, it first appeared a few weeks ahead of The Weight of These Wings as a teaser track. Miranda Lambert also launched a “Keeper of the Flame” tour in 2016 when The Weight of These Wings was first released. The release of a new single also means fans shouldn’t expect a new album from Miranda any time in the near term.
The performance of the single will be interesting to watch after Lambert’s previous song “Tin Man” never made it into the Top 20 of country radio, despite the song being nominated for two CMA Awards, two Grammy Awards, being Certified Gold by the RIAA, and coming in at #15 on Billboard’s more consumption-based Hot Country Songs chart. Like many women in mainstream country, Miranda continues to struggle to find traction for singles on the radio. “Vice,” the lead single from her latest album, was Certified Platinum, made it all the way to #2 on the Hot Country Songs chart, but didn’t crack the Top 10 on radio.
“Keeper of the Flame” was written by Miranda Lambert with Natalie Hemby and Liz Rose. The song appears to be about keeping the flame of country music alive. “I’m walking in their footsteps, I’m singing their old songs. Somebody blazed this trail, I’m treadin’ on…” Miranda sings, with references to pilot lights “waiting to ignite” being the millions of true country fans waiting for a revitalization of the music. But of course these lyrics could be interpreted other ways as well, perhaps referring to country music women more than traditional country fans specifically.
“Keeper of the Flame” isn’t particularly traditional country itself, and it sits down in a mid tempo that may be difficult to succeed in today’s radio environment, especially after it appears commercial country’s radio programmers don’t seem convinced Miranda Lambert is capable of launching another major hit. But who knows what could happen with Chris Stapleton recently scoring a #1 with “Broken Halos” recently, and other quality songs making moves in the charts. Perhaps radio is shifting in a more favorable direction for an artist like Lambert.
Lambert is just finishing up her Livin’ Like Hippies tour, and will be embarking on the Bandwagon Tour in July with Little Big Town, and openers Natalie Hemby, the Turnpike Troubadours, The Steel Woods, and Tenille Townes.