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10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week: Ashley Monroe, Dustin Lynch and More

Monroe’s vulnerable Mother’s Day ode, Lynch’s breezy return to form and newcomer Zack Logan’s stinging tale of a breakup “Annalee”

10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week: Ashley Monroe, Dustin Lynch and More

Song by Dustin Lynch and Ashley Monroe are among the must-hear country and Americana tracks this week.

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A collaboration between two of country music’s biggest stars, a cheeky kiss-off by one of Americana’s most popular bands and a song about student debt are among the 10 tracks you must hear this week.

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Michael Ray, “Her World or Mine”

Michael Ray’s recent singles “Get to You” and “Think a Little Less” have made a convincing case for him as a top-notch country balladeer, separating the Florida native from the 24/7 party during which he first arrived on the scene. His new song “Her World or Mine” – from the upcoming album Amos – continues this trend with a desolate tale of heartbreak that looks at the uneven (if all too understandable) responses two people have after their life-altering split. “One of us moved on, one of us got stuck, one of us is drinking just for fun, one of us is drinking to get drunk,” sings Ray. It’s not hard to figure out which one is him. J.F.

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Lake Street Dive, “Good Kisser”

A highlight of Lake Street Dive’s new LP Free Yourself Up, the bouncy, dynamic breakup song “Good Kisser” – which the band performed Monday on Colbert – is equal parts flippant and mournful, with lead singer Rachel Price belting a plea to a former lover: “If you’re gonna tell them everything / Tell ’em I’m a good kisser.” Largely driven by punchy keyboard from the band’s newest member Akie Bermiss, the song weaves in gospel-inspired harmonies that blend flawlessly with Price’s subtle gritty twang. “Good Kisser” is in keeping with Lake Street Dive’s biggest strength – writing sincere, soulful songs with a candid sense of humor. S.S.

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Milk Carton Kids, “Big Time”

“Big Time” could be a fitting descriptor for any number of things in the lives of the Milk Carton Kids, circa 2018, but it also happens to be the name of their newest song from All the Things That I Did and All the Things That I Didn’t Do, an LP with a big-time title. Back after three years and some serious personal struggles (breakups, illness and other big-league hardships), the Americana duo of Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale dive headlong into a full-band lineup for the first time. The results are lush and evocative, if suitably subtle and cryptic. J.G.

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