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Tift Merritt – Travelling Alone album review

It’s nice to know that American music has grown into how it exists today. From the early days of stripped-down gospels, folk standards, and work songs we now have EDM, heavy metal, and indie rock added to the mix. It’s equally as pleasing that despite the growth of new and more complicated instrumentation and electronic alteration, grassroots American tunes are still rehashed—and in the popular realm. Tift Merritt is one of many artists we can tune into who is at the forefront of today’s Country/Folk revival. Her album Travelling Alone is not just a rehash of prior American musical traditions but a unique reinvention of them. With primarily electrically altered instrumentation she takes an overall acoustic genre and makes it her own. In the end, her brand of music makes for some pleasant listening for the Country fan. And by “Country” I mean the good kind: the type that holds sentimentality (and the blues…) near and dear. But don’t just take my word for it, lend the LP a listen.

With a spin, you’ll notice a great balance of pushed-aside drum and bass rhythms present only to keep time while chords from an electric guitar textures smooth and whining slide guitars and Merritt’s beautiful, soft voice. It’s an easy-listening album, for sure. No one track is especially energetic enough to blare at a dance party. But that isn’t what Merritt is seemingly trying to do. Instead, it seems she is trying to speak to her listener in a voice that is meant to satisfy the cognitive soul. She writes with a full heart.

“Too Soon To Go” is a great example of the type of easy-listening you can expect from Travelling Alone on whole. Likely, “Small Talk Relations” and “Spring” best represents the kind of cognizance Tift Merritt has for her lyrics: morose yet intelligent, soothing yet foreboding. She has been there and done that—and it shows through her writing. This talent sets some artists above the rest.

Whether you like smooth, low, and slow Country/ Folk-Revival tunes or not, you have to have respect for Travelling Alone and the efforts of Tift Merritt and company. She and her band-mates have presented something to the world of music that is worth a damn.

By Dylan Summers

Dylan is a young writer whose passion lies in all aspects of musicality. He is a lover of all types of music culture, plays music for the good feelings, and writes in Seattle.

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