Song of the Day #3,386: ‘The Things That Everybody Does (Live)’ – Tift Merritt

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?

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Song of the Day #3,217: ‘I Know Him Too’ – Tift Merritt vs. Frank Sinatra

Our next match-up in Round One of Montauk Madness pits the legendary Frank Sinatra against the tragically under-appreciated singer-songwriter Tift Merritt. A no-brainer, right? I agree… Tift Merritt advances.

Sinatra acolytes (like my parents) will scoff at this choice, I’m sure. But as much as I love Sinatra’s voice, and his interpretation of classic songs on such albums as Only the Lonely, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, In the Wee Small Hours and Watertown, I find it hard to vote for a non-songwriter over an excellent and prolific one.

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Song of the Day #3,157: ‘Wait For Me’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_worldToday wraps up my track-by-track look at Tift Merritt’s latest album, Stitch of the World. I hope it was less taxing for some readers than last year’s Lucinda Williams deep dive.

The album closes with a third song featuring Sam Beam on backing vocals, and as in the other two, his contribution is sublime.

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Song of the Day #3,156: ‘Eastern Light’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_worldAs I mentioned in my first post about Tift Merritt’s Stitch of the World, the album was written in the wake of her divorce. In general, the record is more about the recovery than the break-up, with the exception of today’s SOTD, ‘Eastern Light.’

Again accompanied by Sam ‘Iron & Wine’ Beam, Merritt delivers a gorgeous and haunting elegy to a failed relationship, assigning blame to neither party but longing for a feeling she can never reclaim.

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Song of the Day #3,155: ‘Something Came Over Me’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_worldDiscussion of Tift Merritt almost always comes around to the question of why she isn’t more popular. Not just on this blog but in most critics’ reviews as well.

It’s not that her fans decry the lack of massive Billboard success, sold-out stadium shows and household name status. I’m talking about a level of popularity that’s somewhere above that of a local bar band.

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Song of the Day #3,154: ‘Proclamation Bones’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_worldJust when I was talking about the preponderance of ballads on Stitch of the World, Tift Merritt lets loose with an up-tempo rocker.

‘Proclamation Bones’ is rushed and what passes for grungy in Merritt’s acoustic vocabulary. It’s a sexy stomp through a modern Garden of Eden, continuing the nature theme found on much of the album but giving it a more carnal edge.

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Song of the Day #3,153: ‘Icarus’ – Tift Merritt

tift_stitch_worldContinuing my song-by-song presentation of Tift Merritt’s latest album, Stitch of the World, we arrive at track six, ‘Icarus.’

When I listened to Stitch of the World the first time, I initially felt this song might have been one too many slow ballads in a row. It’s one of the most delicate songs on a very delicate album.

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