10,000 Maniacs is one of those bands that really defines the sound of my teen years. R.E.M. is another, and I’ve always connected the two because of the distinctive voices of lead singers Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe.
In My Tribe is a stellar album that throws me right back into a very specific time and place… in this case, 1988 in Fairfax County, Virginia, when my sister was introduced to this band by a co-worker and played it that whole summer.
I always found it funny that In My Tribe played like a menu of societal issues. It has songs about child abuse, gun control, illiteracy, alcoholism, you name it. Natalie Merchant was the ultimate liberal hippie chick.
As great as In My Tribe is, I consider Our Time in Eden even better. The songs are more complex and layered and Merchant’s piano takes center stage on some of the best cuts, including today’s Song of the Day.
I’ve always considered ‘Noah’s Dove’ a perfect song. From its first note to its last, there isn’t a false or wasted moment. This is a desert island song for me, and I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to feature it.