Miserabilism has become a nearly lost art in Nashville as country music has grown increasingly, buoyantly exurban. (You know you’re old if the ancient joke about playing a country record backward and getting your wife, dog and truck back makes a lick of sense.) But leave it to some of the genre’s leading ladies, whose reasons for woe include the disenfranchisement of female artists on the dial, to remember how fulfilling it is to write a song about how life sucks and you still don’t die. “Interstate Gospel,” the third album from country’s all-female supergroup — Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley — is pretty miserable, and pretty great; it’s spirit-lifting, seeing how low they can go.
It shouldn’t come as any huge surprise that in a year when Ashley McBryde and Kacey Musgraves have been responsible for the genre’s finest records, a strength-in-female-numbers Pistol Annies collection would turn out to be 2018’s best country album. As an alternately droll and affecting wallow in and cure for the blues, it beats the hell out of a recreational Percocet.
RCA Records Nashville
Producers: Frank Liddell, Glen Worf, Eric Masse