Not unlike Miley Cyrus in her less ambiguous moments (Breakout kept Loveon the Inside from debuting in the top spot on the Billboard 200 last week), Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush aren’t afraid to get a little goofy for the sake of a laugh. In “Steve Earle,” an up-tempo honky-tonk trifle near the end of their new release, Nettles interrupts her singing with a spoken impersonation of a breathless bride-to-be describing her idea of life with the outlaw artist. (“On Tuesday nights I like to go to trivia, so that’s your night to go out with the boys.”) And though they’re one of Nashville’s biggest success stories, Sugarland also share with Cyrus a sort of post-genre approach to songwriting. Throughout Love on the Inside, Nettles and Bush trick out their twangy tunes with shiny new-wave guitars, creamy pop harmonies, and robust rock beats. These days that’s business as usual on Music Row, of course, but the fresh-faced duo seem even less committed to holding the center than most. They’re the perfect country act for a country unmoored from itself.
SUGARLAND | South Shore Music Circus, 130 Sohier St, Cohasset | August 21 | 781.383.9850 | Cape Cod Melody Tent, 21 West Main St, Hyannis | August 22 | 508.775.5630