Catch Tift Merritt on Monday 7th September at the Tuning Fork with support from Reb Fountain. Chris Dent gives us a run down of her latest album, Traveling Alone. 

A folk musician who comes across proud with a strong voice that echo’s around your room or headphones, she also seems like someone who is unafraid to experiment with her genre. As far as most traditionalists go this album would probably be fit more in the indie or folk rock genre.

From whichever side of that shore that you stand on the album is still very well produced and hosts a bunch of lovely tracks that do attempt to defy genre. To put the sound of this album into words – imagine a female version of Adam McGrath [of The Eastern] mixed with the dulcet country grooves of Jenny Mitchell with a dash of a somber Lana Del Ray shaken over the top. The songs are full and instruments sound impeccable but what makes this album stand out from others?

Her voice is definitely a high point as when it soars it really soars, what makes those lifts so grand though is her composure as a singer. It feels like overall her vocals are constantly under control, even with a full band behind her, she never seems to work too hard to hold her own across different environments.

The two stand out tracks are Traveling Alone and Small Talk Revelations. Traveling Alone is the first of the album, it demonstrates her vocal ability and her compassionate writing style that is backed by uplifting guitar and fun mandolin. The sentiment is simple and sets a nice melancholic tone for the rest of the album.

Small Talk Revelations takes you on a jazzy piano driven groove and brings out a more sultry Jeff Buckley feel to her voice. The chorus has evocative lyrics and if you like Norah Jones then you will love the feeling of this too.

In moments the album can feel a bit ambitious and some of the more rocky tracks don’t pay off quite as well as they could. Some moments of distorted rhythm guitar and very enthusiastic electric guitar don’t quite sit as well as could be hoped. Overall it is a good listen and the rises and falls make this album something you would enjoy from start to finish. Her voice is lovely and when songs do come together they could become folk or country classics. 


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