Search - Tift Merritt :: See You On The Moon

See You On The Moon
Tift Merritt
See You On The Moon
Genres: Country, Folk
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

See You On The Moon is Tift Merritt's most visceral work to date. A deeply centered departure, these focused and creative musical short stories find Tift at the height of her powers. "I wanted to make a really direct rec...  more »

     
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Tift Merritt
Title: See You On The Moon
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Fantasy
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 6/1/2010
Genres: Country, Folk
Style: Americana
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 888072319653

Synopsis

Product Description
See You On The Moon is Tift Merritt's most visceral work to date. A deeply centered departure, these focused and creative musical short stories find Tift at the height of her powers. "I wanted to make a really direct record. I wanted to take everything to a place that was less labored, of more depth. Open space, real strength. There was a certain feeling of inevitability about it. Like I found these songs whole."

To bring her musical short stories to life, Merritt recruited Tucker Martine, best known for his work with Bill Frisell, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Laura Veirs, Spoon, and as one of Paste magazine's top ten producers of the decade. Martine produced, recorded and mixed the record while receiving a detailed tour of Tift's native turf. "It made a lot of sense to take this record back to North Carolina," she added. "Build a fort in our own backyard." With longtime band mates Zeke Hutchins on drums, Jay Brown on bass and vocals, and guitar player Scott McCall, the Martine-Merritt partnership sounds firmly anchored in the deep water of home while deliberately and wholeheartedly venturing from the docks. "Tucker has such a gentle way of bringing the best out of people, of taking the time to see what you are really made of and getting at, and coaxing you further from there. We wanted to come at things from different directions, not go straight for a band combo, really build around the songs rather than some idea of how things were supposed happen. I played more instruments on this record than any other I've made." At heart, See You On The Moon is a profoundly focused Tift doing what she does best better than she ever has - poignant writing and performing welded to the steady pursuit of new places. Joining the `Moon' sessions were, among others, celebrated pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz and My Morning Jacket's Jim James.

In her nascent career, Tift Merritt has already produced an impressive body of work and earned a passionate, dedicated audience. Her live performances, both with her band and on her own, are similarly riveting. Tift's preceding albums are 2002's debut Bramble Rose, 2005's Grammy nominated Tambourine, and 2008's widely acclaimed Another Country. 2010's stellar See You On The Moon is a most important step forward in a remarkable artistic journey that continues to search, penetrate, and surprise.

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CD Reviews

My introduction to the artist
Geonn W. Cannon | Oklahoma | 06/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had only vaguely heard of Tift Merritt in the past, and I picked this album up on a whim. I knew that it was a good choice from the first song. I skipped ahead to the title track, because I like songs about the moon (it's weird, I know, but it got me to pick up the album in the first place). "See You on the Moon" is so haunting, and lyrically beautiful, that I had to listen to it a few times before I could move on. When I had gone through the entire album, I had to go to Tift Merritt's website and read the little stories about how she wrote each song. The stories, while not necessary, give an amazing additional depth to each track.

I'm not going to do a song-by-song review. But songs like Engine to Turn, Six More Days of Rain, and After Today are staggering in their depth. Hopefully this album will increase Tift Merritt's presence so that people won't have to discover her the way I did. Talent like this deserves to be recognized.

This was my first experience with Tift Merritt, but it's definitely not going to be my last. I look forward to going back and exploring her past releases while waiting for her next album."
Why Isn't She A First-Magnitude Star Yet?!
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 06/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How is it that, after four brilliant studio albums and one live one recorded in England in late 2008 (BUCKINGHAM SOLO), Tift Merritt is still not a star of the first magnitude?

While pop radio is still obsessed with overproduced divas, and country radio is over-infatuated with the bland, inoffensive hits of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, Tift has quietly made a name for herself during the last eight years as a singer/songwriter of intelligence and heart that was a mandatory thing back in the 1970s. That trend continues with SEE YOU ON THE MOON, a gorgeous bit of rootsy, often folk-influenced, country and rock recorded with producer Tucker Martine in Tift's home state of North Carolina with longtime backing musician friends Zeke Hutchins and Jay Brown, along with pedal steel master Greg Leisz (now one of the most wanted session guys of the last twenty years). Save for "Live Till You Die" (written by Emmit Rhodes of the 1960s pop group Merry-Go-Round) and "Danny's Song" (an acoustic folk/country take on the Kenny Loggins composition that was a Top 10 country/pop hit for Anne Murray in the spring of 1973), the songs on this album are all from Tift's pen, all of them rendered in her own quiet, breezy, but highly incisive fashion. And as usual, Tift's musical eclecticism covers social commentary ("After Today"), R&B ("Mixtape"; "Papercut"), modern folk ("The Things That Everybody Does"; the title cut) and Linda Ronstadt/Emmylou Harris-influenced country-rock ("Six More Days Of Rain"; "All The Reasons We Don't Have To Fight").

With all this, on top of this album's predecessors, Tift should be up there on that exalted plain occupied by her spiritual mentors Linda and Emmylou, or at least alongside Sheryl Crow (to whom she has also been compared in the past). And in a perfect world, or if this were still the 1970s, that is exactly where Tift would be. It's a pity that the powers-that-be that determine who gets radio airplay don't see her music as a legitimate asset, or that a lot more people don't know about her; because over these first ten years-plus of the 21st century, Tift has, for me, been the best female singer to come down the road. SEE YOU ON THE MOON validates this for me for the fifth time in a row--an intelligent combination of modern songwriting and old school, rootsy musical values. If you are tired of the same overblown divas and bland Music Row assembly line mentality that so dominate corporate radio, please don't hesitate to check out SEE YOU ON THE MOON--or for that matter, everything else that Tift has done. You definitely will not be sorry."
Another stellar release from Tift (4.5 stars)
David Kennedy | HOUSTON, TX USA | 06/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Once upon a time, Tift Merritt was the next-big-thing, either in the Alt.Country universe or even in the regular Country universe (she did, after all, receive an inexplicable Best Country Album Grammy nomination for the genre-bending Tambourine). For obvious reasons - let's call them "sales numbers" - Universal subsidiary Lost Highway unceremoniously dumped Merritt, partially explaining a four year absence before releasing Another Country in 2008 on Concord Music's Fantasy label. That album went a long way in resetting expectations for Merrit's music, largely abandoning the rock-n-soul throwdown approach that highlighted Tambourine as well as Merritt's gritty live performances. What emerged in its place was an uncommonly thoughtful and graceful artist, equally at ease behind a grand piano as she was fronting her soulful band.

See You On The Moon only reinforces the notion Tift Merritt is most at home in her introspective skin, and the new record certainly builds on the success of Another Country. Most importantly, with the help of producer Tucker Martine she has found new ways to frame her music that are surprising yet subtle. The album's opener "Mixtape" is perhaps the most surprising, drenched in 1970's R&B conventions complete with dramatic stabs of strings. If Merritt was looking to thow down the gauntlet to declare her diversity, she chose a heckuva great opening track. However, skeptical fans will be relieved to hear the second track "Engine To Turn" which manages the neat track of being melancholy and sublimely hopeful at the same time. Thanks to gently swelling arrangement, it may also be the most beautifully produced song she's ever recorded (though that honor could easily go instead to the fifth track "Feel Of The World", which features My Morning Jacket's Jim James on ghostly backing vocals).

The album's second half is highlighted by a muscular cover of Emmit Rhodes' "Live Till You Die" and a return to the classic R&B vibe with "Papercut". The album's home stretch turns delicate with a trio of songs starting with the title track. It is followed by lovely take on the Anne Murray (!) hit "Danny's Song" before winding up with the socially conscious "After Today". Closing out a record with three mellow performances is perhaps not the most advisable commercial move, but it's really with these songs that you appreciate the depth of Merritt's singing and performing talent. There's really no other singer that I can call to mind (okay, maybe Patty Griffin or Emmylou Harris) who so pours her heart and soul into her songs the way Merritt does so completely.

What Tift Merritt does so well - and what so few other singer-songwriters do - is tackle heartwrenching themes while finding the hope buried underneath. At times, one gets the impression that her own music career has required more perseverence than even Merritt thought she had. That she's found more success on her new label and built a committed fanbase with little more than beautiful music and hard work should be a lesson to aspiring musicians, if not the music industry at large. If this album has a weak spot, it's that the good material on the album's second half is a bit overshadowed by its nearly flawless first half. It's a mild criticism to note that See You On The Moon merely builds upon her previous three excellent records, rather than transcend them completely. That's a tall order for an artist as consistent as Tift Merritt, but I'm fairly certain - based on abundance evidence here - that such a record is still very much in her future.

In the meantime, you can be sure that See You On The Moon is one of the best records you'll hear this year."