Ashley Monroe, "Mother's Daughter"
Ashley Monroe's recently released album Sparrow is a triumph in many ways (cracking the Top 30 on Billboard's Country Albums chart, for example), a major one being its frank depiction of Monroe's childhood and her relationship to her mom. "Mother's Daughter" is a standout representation of Monroe's unflinching vulnerability, intoning in the chorus that "staying forever is a promise that nobody can keep." It's heavy subject matter, but it's made palatable by an optimistic arrangement that includes sunny acoustic guitar and, of course, Monroe's preternatural sense of emotive phrasing. B.M.