Monday, May 31, 2010

Musical Elective of the Month: May 2010

The Musical Elective Of The Month is Tift Merritt.

Tift is a 35-year-old singer/songwriter who grew up in North Carolina, but is now based in the Big Apple. Her music is in the alt-country vein, although her sophomore album went in a decidedly rock and soul direction. Tift's got a distinctive, pure voice that lends a warmth and forthrightness to her lyrics.

Sara and I recently saw her open for Amos Lee in Madison, Wisconsin. As a result of this command opening performance, she made me an even bigger fan than I was. Tift's brand-new album is released on June 1, 2010. It's called See You On The Moon, and already has received critical acclaim from the likes of The New Yorker, Paste Magazine and the Washington Post for its stripped-down production and showcasing of Tift's vocal talent.

Tift released her first solo album in 2002 and has three studio albums and one live album under her belt. Pretty good work. Her debut album, Bramble Rose, was widely heralded, making both Time Magazine's and The New Yorker's top 10 lists for that year. My favorite is 2005's upbeat Tambourine, featuring the tracks "Good Hearted Man," "Stray Paper," "Write My Ticket," and "Shadow In The Way." Tambourine was nominated for a Grammy for Country Album of The Year even though I think it is the least "country" of her three studio albums. Go figure. In 2008, Tift released Another Country, with the tracks "Broken," "Keep You Happy," and "I Know What I'm Looking For Now." She also released a live acoustic album, Buckingham Solo, on February 24, 2009. It is a great example of her clean, pure sound from her live shows.

Check out more at her official web site.
You, how did you get so wise?
I take the advice I find in your eyes.
Me, I’ve been waiting outside
Most of my life,
Oh like a rare b-side.

I’m just making you mixtapes with homemade covers.
Analog to show we’re lovers,
And here under the jacket folds inside,
I’ve taped my heart for you to find.

--"Mixtape," See You On The Moon (2010)

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