Merry Christmas, everyone! My best to you and yours this holiday season.
Now, back to the music.
Best Albums of the 2010s – #3
See You On the Moon – Tift Merritt (2010)
Yesterday I mentioned the “best of the 2010s so far” list I compiled five years ago. On that lineup, Tift Merritt’s 2010 See You On the Moon showed up at #9.
It’s a great illustration of how time can enhance (or diminish) the power of a piece of work that the same album now sits at #3.
The best 30 Day Music Challenge categories are the ones left completely open to the participant’s interpretation. How you interpret the challenge is as meaningful as the song you ultimately pick.
Such is the case with Day 23’s direction to name ‘A Song That You Think Everybody Should Listen To.’ Does that mean a song you find important, so if everybody listened to it the world would somehow become a better place? Or a little-heard song that you feel needs the exposure?
I don’t know that any of my favorite artists have quite the effect on me that Tift Merritt does.
Maybe it’s the intelligence and humanity in all of our songs, the generosity of spirit, the earnestness and warmth. Maybe it’s her rich, welcoming vocals. Maybe it’s just the fact that she’s the only one of my favorites I’ve met in person, and I’ve met her twice.
Best Albums of the 10s So Far
#6 – Tift Merritt – See You On the Moon
The second Tift Merritt album on this list is her finest record yet, 2010’s See You On the Moon.
I love this album so much I almost ran out of songs to feature on the blog. Of Merritt’s five studio albums, this is the one that best captures her Joni Mitchell-meets-Emmylou Harris sound and spirit.
#9 – See You On the Moon – Tift Merritt
I ranked Tift Merritt’s fourth album, See You On the Moon, at #3 on my 2009 year-end list, and now it’s one of two albums from that year to make this list.
The album it leap-frogged is Elvis Costello’s National Ransom, a fine record indeed but not one I find myself returning to often.
This week of personal songs comes to an end with a very moving track about the end of life. Tift Merritt wrote this track from 2010’s See You On the Moon about her grandfather, who lost his wife of many decades.
I’ve obviously never faced this situation myself, but it speaks to me powerfully. One of the scariest things about being in a strong, loving relationship is the knowledge that one day one of you will leave.
Of the 35 artists I’m featuring in my musical genome series, seven are women. And of those seven, three fall into the ‘Country Plus’ category. I don’t know if that’s a coincidence or if it says something about my taste.
Tift Merritt started off as very much a country artist with her debut Bramble Rose, though hewing more toward Americana and folk than traditional country. She quickly expanded that sound on her sophomore album, Tambourine, exploring Memphis soul and R&B flavors.