12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

North Carolina-bred alt-country singer Tift Merritt went to Paris, holed up in a studio apartment with a piano, and wrote Another Country, the 2008 follow-up to her GRAMMY®-nominated second album Tambourine. Yet, this is not an album of parlor room piano ballads. With Black Crowes and Jayhawks producer George Drakoulias organizing all-star guitarists Charlie Sexton and Doug Pettibone alongside Tift’s longtime band, Another Country is a light, natural, and flowing collection of songs where Merritt’s sweet twists of melody take her conversational lyrics and ride them out from the morning light into the struggle of the day. The band keeps a safe distance, never overpowering the sentiments. The serene pulse behind “Keep You Happy” creeps up steadily and slowly, as Merritt offers sweet assurance. While her singing is confident throughout, listen closely and the self-doubt that lingers underneath the surface of “I Know What I’m Looking for Now” leaks out over the calming organ chords, just as her inner resolve rescues the disappointments of “Broken” from overwhelming her. Merrittt’s an elusive, emotionally complex performer.

EDITORS’ NOTES

North Carolina-bred alt-country singer Tift Merritt went to Paris, holed up in a studio apartment with a piano, and wrote Another Country, the 2008 follow-up to her GRAMMY®-nominated second album Tambourine. Yet, this is not an album of parlor room piano ballads. With Black Crowes and Jayhawks producer George Drakoulias organizing all-star guitarists Charlie Sexton and Doug Pettibone alongside Tift’s longtime band, Another Country is a light, natural, and flowing collection of songs where Merritt’s sweet twists of melody take her conversational lyrics and ride them out from the morning light into the struggle of the day. The band keeps a safe distance, never overpowering the sentiments. The serene pulse behind “Keep You Happy” creeps up steadily and slowly, as Merritt offers sweet assurance. While her singing is confident throughout, listen closely and the self-doubt that lingers underneath the surface of “I Know What I’m Looking for Now” leaks out over the calming organ chords, just as her inner resolve rescues the disappointments of “Broken” from overwhelming her. Merrittt’s an elusive, emotionally complex performer.

TITLE TIME
4:09
3:44
4:42
3:32
3:17
5:05
3:57
3:00
3:29
3:31
3:06
3:47

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5

44 Ratings

44 Ratings

amazing

Ladybugs Mom,

I loved Tift's 1st two albums, but "Another Country" blew me away. The title track is beautiful. Every day I change which track is my favorite. I really connect with these songs, with Tift's struggles as she wrote in Paris. What a gift of music.

Tift- A True Breath of Fresh Air

Fortified with Funkiness,

I'm so excited to see this album come out! Tift has such a sincere, powerful & moving voice, and her songwriting is excellent. Love it.

How to top your previous two albums

Razoobe,

I've been lucky enough to see Tift live and to hear many of these songs performed so I had high expectations. This is an excellent record and is her best work to date. I have not stopped listening.

About Tift Merritt

Singer/songwriter Tift Merritt seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the spring of 2002 with her acclaimed debut album, Bramble Rose, but as is often the case, this triple-threat artist -- a gifted singer, superb songwriter, and skillful guitarist -- actually has plenty of experience under her belt. Born in Houston, Texas in 1975, Merritt's family moved to North Carolina when she was young and she's lived there ever since. Merritt first developed an interest in music when she was a child and learned to sing harmonies with her father, who had dabbled in folk music in his younger days; in her early teens, she picked up a guitar and her dad taught her her first four chords. While Merritt was drawn to the rebellious spirit of punk and indie rock, she felt a greater emotional connection with more acoustic-oriented artists, particularly Joni Mitchell (Merritt once told a reporter, "I went through a Joni Mitchell phase -- and all girls go through a Joni Mitchell phase; if any girl tells you she never did, don't believe her."). Hearing Emmylou Harris' album Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town opened Merritt's ears to roots music and she soon began to immerse herself in North Carolina's active alt-country scene. Merritt began appearing on a semi-regular basis with the band the Two Dollar Pistols, singing duets with lead singer John Howie and playing rhythm guitar; she eventually appeared on a seven-song EP of classic country covers the group released in the fall of 1999. Looking for a vehicle for her own songwriting, Merritt had formed a band called the Carbines in 1998 with drummer Zeke Hutchins, guitarist Greg Reading, and bassist Jay Brown; the band soon became a fixture on the North Carolina club scene and released a well-received 7" single.

Between the Carbines and the Two Dollar Pistols, Merritt was becoming a popular figure in the North Carolina roots music community, and in early 2000 Merritt and the Carbines seemed poised to sign a contract with Sugar Hill Records. The deal fell through at the last minute, but when Merritt won the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at the annual 2000 Merlefest Music Festival, it sparked a new round of interest in her work. Fellow North Carolina native Ryan Adams brought Merritt to the attention of his manager, Frank Callari, and he began shopping a record deal for her; when he was hired as an A&R executive for the Universal-distributed roots music label Lost Highway, Merritt became one of his first signings. (While Merritt was signed as a solo act, she's continued to use the Carbines as her backing band, both for live shows and for the recording of Bramble Rose.) Her debut album was released to enthusiastic reviews in June 2002. The George Drakoulias-produced Tambourine appeared two years later, followed by Another Country in 2008, and the live Buckingham Solo in 2009, both on Fantasy Records. Traveling Alone, recorded in Brooklyn and featuring guest spots from Marc Ribot, Andrew Bird, and others, appeared in the fall of 2012. Merritt teamed up with classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein for a unique collaborative project, the 2013 album Night, in which they performed a variety of pop, folk, jazz, and classical pieces. Merritt also collaborated with Andrew Bird in his group the Hands of Glory, appearing on their 2014 album, Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of.... In 2017 Merritt released her seventh studio album, Stitch of the World, produced by Sam Beam of Iron and Wine. ~ Mark Deming

  • ORIGIN
    Houston, TX
  • BORN
    January 8, 1975

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