Will Hoge is an artist who resists the easy sell. His Nashville home base designates him country, but his music suggests otherwise. There’s a solo-Paul Westerberg raggedness to his records, an unapologetic candor, and discontent that sends him beyond Music Row. When recommending his music, I describe him as a thinking person’s musician, a label that rings as a backhanded compliment. But Hoge has never been one to pander through pregame or after-party anthems. And while he does deliver the occasional heartbreakers– “That’s How You Lose Her”, “Through Missing You”, and “Better Than You” come to mind– his albums succeed more as indictments of the American Dream than songs of a disillusioned romantic. Modern American Protest Music (2012), Small Town Dreams (2015), My American Dream (2018), and Tiny Little Movies (2018) are cathartic essentials for anyone working towards a better South, but perhaps unwelcome hectoring for anyone content with the status quo.