Tift Merritt: Singing For Herself

Photo by Alexandra Valenti

“I haven’t done an interview in a really long time, so forgive me if I’m wonky,” says Tift Merritt. After living in New York for nine years, Merritt has recently moved back to Raleigh, the city she grew up in and where she first broke through as a singer-songwriter in the early ’00s. But today, she’s back in her adopted hometown of Manhattan to promote her latest album, Stitch Of The World, her first in nearly four years.

A lot has changed for Merritt since she released her last album, 2012’s Traveling Alone. After spending three years touring the world — by herself, with classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein in support of their collaborative 2013 album Night, as the opening act for Josh Ritter and Nick Lowe, and as a member of Andrew Bird’s roots band Hands of Glory — Merritt found herself in the midst of a mid-life upheaval spurred on by the end of her relationship with longtime musical partner and husband since 2009, Zeke Hutchins.

“Suddenly, I was turning 40, getting divorced, and scared out of my mind,” Merritt writes in the liner notes to her new album.

Merritt then spent the following year uprooting and reconfiguring her own life. She took a much-needed year off from the road, moved away from New York and spent time in California and Marfa. Along the way, she fell in love, became a first-time mother, moved back home to North Carolina, and managed to write an album about it all.

The result, Stitch Of The World,... Sign In to Keep Reading

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